Coco Collection wins Indian Ocean’s Leading Boutique Hotel Brand at the World Travel Awards 2017

Coco Collection is thrilled to have been awarded Indian Ocean’s Leading Boutique Hotel Brand at the 2017 World Travel Awards. Established in 1993, these prestigious accolades celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality. Today, the World Travel Awards is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence. At the Indian Ocean gala ceremony held on 08th July, the award was accepted by Mr. Shabeer Ahmed, Founder, Managing Director and Chairman of Coco Collection.

Three islands comprise the Coco Collection brand. Coco Privé Private Island offers guests the chance to escape to an entirely private island. Creating a sense of intimacy and ownership, this 1.4-hectare island is dedicated to one booking at a time, where every guest is given a completely individual tailored experience. Coco Bodu Hithi translates island life into contemporary sophistication. The resort is a chic retreat where you reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and the wonder of the natural world. Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is dedicated to the inspiring beauty and natural wonder of the Maldives. Here, environmentally-conscious touches are woven into luxurious natural surroundings and initiatives contribute to the environmental and social sustainability of Maldives.

Coco Collection has built a strong reputation as a luxury brand offering stylish and sophisticated escapes, and this win is another step in strengthening the position as a leading boutique luxury brand in the Maldives and the region.

About Coco Collection

Coco Collection is a prestigious hotel group, and a subsidiary of Sunland Hotels. Since opening the flagship hotel in July 2007, the company has continued to grow and develop its reputation as a trailblazer in stylish, sophisticated yet sustainable hospitality.

Coco Collection’s portfolio comprises three distinct brands, Coco Resorts: Hotels: Retreats, Coco Privé and Coco Palm. The Coco Resorts: Hotels: Retreats includes the luxury resort Coco Bodu Hithi; Coco Palm features the environmentally conscious escape Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu; and Coco Privé consists of the private and exclusive Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island. Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu are both Preferred Boutique Hotels, members of the global Preferred Hotel Group Association.

Coco Collection’s Wellness Retreat with Dave Catudal

Refresh your senses and get back to a healthy lifestyle at the wellness retreat to be held at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu from 10 – 15 August and at Coco Bodu Hithi from 18 – 23 August 2015. These five or seven day retreats are designed by Dave Catudal, Director of Weight Loss Retreats and Fitness Boot Camps at Lifestyle Health Retreats, with the objective of helping guests improve their mind and physique through nutrition, positive thinking and a balanced lifestyle.

Dave Catudal, Health and Wellness Director and Nutrition and Fitness Coach at PurelyB
Dave Catudal, Health and Wellness Director and Nutrition and Fitness Coach at PurelyB

Having worked together with Hollywood celebrities, top models and professional athletes, Dave is also the Health and Wellness Director as well as the Nutrition and Fitness Coach at PurelyB, a one stop destination for everything healthy and natural. In 2014, Dave emerged as a published author with “The Physique Transformation Book”, a series of educational guidebooks covering the essentials of all the key elements of health, fitness, detox and nutrition.

Coco Bodu Hithi
Coco Bodu Hithi

At Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and Coco Bodu Hithi, guests can rejuvenate with classes aimed for abs and core conditioning of the body along with private wellness consultations to understand body types and corresponding fitness routines. Furthermore, the retreat includes different lifestyle health workshops raising awareness on health transformation diets, eating right for your body type, essentials of the modern day detox diets and anti-aging and hormone optimization diets. With the 5 day retreat at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu starting from USD 2,528 in a Beach Villa, guests of Coco Bodu Hithi can also experience the retreat starting from USD 3,158 in an Island Villa.

Sunset Beach Villas, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
Sunset Beach Villas

A High Intensity Interval Training session will also provide guests with metabolic fat-loss challenges followed by ocean fitness activities such as athletic body warm up routines, kayaking and swimming exercises. Additionally, with a resident Yogi, guests can enjoy balancing morning and sunset yoga sessions to improve core strength. At Coco Bodu Hithi, guests can indulge in superfood protein smoothie classes, an ideal addition to a healthy lifestyle.

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

“The Maldives is the ideal place for a wellness retreat! When it comes to the health of our bodies, we must also exercise the health of the mind. I can’t think of a more ideal location to experience a holistic wellness retreat than the Maldives. Guests will return home with a lighter, leaner and more healthy body, and a more balanced and peaceful mind,” Dave commented.

Visit www.cocoboduhithi.com and www.cocopalm.com for more information on the packages available to embark on a healthy journey for a better living.

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is located on the private island of Dhuni Kolhu, in the Baa Atoll.

The tropical paradise island is just 124 km from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport or a scenic 30 minute flight by seaplane. Set on this lush and tropical island, the resort is fringed by white sandy beaches surrounded by a crystal clear emerald lagoon.

General Manager Sandrine Kaiser embraces the Coco Palm way of life

The Coco family is comprised of talented professionals within the hospitality industry and each member brings years of experience which they contribute to their dedicated roles. This month, Coco Collection introduces Sandrine Kaiser as the General Manager of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.

A French-German citizen with a world of experience up her sleeve, Sandrine’s most recent role as General Manager was at Trezzini Palace Hotel in St. Petersburg where she worked alongside her team in Russia for the pre opening. Prior to that, she was the Resident Manager of Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina, Madagascar, in charge of all the operations and purchasing of the 25 bungalow lodge. With regards to experience in the Maldivian hospitality scene, Sandrine played a prominent role in the Executive Committee involved in the pre-opening of Zitahli Resort & Spa in 2008 and has a vast knowledge of international properties such as the renowned Fregate Island in the Seychelles, where she was the Front Office Manager.

Aerial view, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
Aerial view, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Embodying the Dhuni Kolhu way of life, Sandrine plans to increase environmental awareness programs among all guests and associates on the island and has given a further push to enforce some initiatives such as reducing the use of plastic straws. Additionally, she has taken a personal interest in the guest experiences on the island and plans to revamp the portfolio with more options, especially in terms of private dining and water sports. “It is also a high priority for me to review the guest loyalty benefits to ensure the ultimate comfort and pleasure for those visiting Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu for the second or even the 38th time!”, comments Sandrine Kaiser regarding her plans for the resort.

Fluent in German, French and Italian, Sandrine is a multilingual who also speaks Russian and Spanish. Her time in Maldives has enabled her to appreciate the natural beauty of these fragile islands and she fits in perfectly with the sunny side of life. Having obtained her Open Water level 1 PADI license in 2009, she is also a fan of the rich marine life of Maldives.

Sunset Lagoon Villas, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
Sunset Lagoon Villas, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

With Sandrine at the helm of the resorts with a committed team on hand; Coco Collection is well on the way to revamping guest experiences to become the leading luxury boutique hotel brand in the region.

Coco Collection Presents ‘Savour 2015’ At Coco Bodu Hithi

Coco Collection looks forward to welcome a gathering of Michelin Starred Chefs as well as an expert Mixologist to the sophisticated culinary scene at Coco Bodu Hithi. Guests can look forward to experience the exclusive opportunity to indulge in award-winning creations by Chefs Frédéric Doucet, Nigel Haworth, Aktar Islam, Andrew Pern as well as Food & Beverage Specialist, Rogers Benham.

Coco Bodu Hithi dining

To the delight of food connoisseurs, these experts will take turns to demonstrate Master Classes showcasing some of their signature dishes, allowing guests of Coco Bodu Hithi to interact with the Chefs and Mixologist at the eclectic dining venues of Coco Bodu Hithi. Furthermore, guests can experience Michelin Star Dining with these Chefs at the helm of the kitchen at Coco Bodu Hithi, serving exclusive dinners inspired by fresh ingredients.

For USD 2,345 per person, enjoy 7 nights on Half Board meal plan at a spaciously luxurious Island Villa, a dinner at one of the specialty restaurants of Coco Bodu Hithi, with an exclusive menu by one of the Michelin starred Chefs, a Master Class with these Chefs demonstrating a signature dish, a Wine Tasting session with the Mixologist and a choice of either a Cocktail class, Japanese cooking class, Maldivian cooking class or Pastry lessons by the Resident Chefs at Coco Bodu Hithi. Additionally, guests will enjoy a 10% discount on all wines during the stay and have the opportunity to upgrade to an Escape Water Villa or Escape Water Residence for USD 300.

“Coco Bodu Hithi has always been a haven for food aficionados and ‘Savour 2015‘ offers an impressive lineup for our guests to indulge in world-class dining experiences throughout their stay. Holding true to our promise to offer an inspirational stay, this culinary journey will create moments to treasure for a lifetime!” comments Georgios Papazoglou, General Manager at Coco Bodu Hithi.

MORE ABOUT THE CHEFS AND MIXOLOGIST:

Preluding this exclusive event in February is Chef Frédéric Doucet. Aromas, flavours and wholesome ingredients from the Charolais countryside make up the fine creative cuisine crafted by Frédéric and his devoted staff at Restaurant Frédéric Doucet. Apart from one Michelin star, Frédéric‘s gourmet restaurant received 3 Gault & Millau toques and 15/20 in the Guide Champérard. Mentored by the infamous Paul Bocuse and having worked alongside Chefs Michel Troisgros and Alain Ducasse, he brings eclectic approaches to cuisine.

Chef Patron at Restaurant Frédéric Doucet, One Michelin Star
Chef Patron at Restaurant Frédéric Doucet, One Michelin Star

In March, Coco Bodu Hithi will host Nigel Haworth, chef patron at Michelin-starred restaurant and country-house hotel Northcote in Langho, Blackburn. Renowned for his seasonal, British food — long before they became buzzwords — today Nigel celebrates an Egon Ronay Chef of the Year Award and a Michelin star that has been retained since 1985. Since winning Great British Menu in 2009 with his now-legendary Lancashire Hot Pot, Nigel continues to make regular appearances on television – returning to GBM in 2012 to mentor a new generation of young chefs – and frequently showcases new dishes to James Martin on Saturday Kitchen.

Nigel Haworth, Chef Patron at Northcote, One Michelin Star
Nigel Haworth, Chef Patron at Northcote, One Michelin Star

Joining Nigel is Birmingham born and bred, Aktar Islam. The Winner of Great British Menu 2011, Aktar‘s exposure to British cuisine and the strong influence from his culture are what have shaped his unique style. Aktar‘s passion for creating modern South Asian cuisine has ensured his meteoric rise as one of the most talented Chefs in the UK. With notable TV appearances, he has secured a reputation as an entertaining and engaging television Chef with recognition by Buckingham Palace for his contribution to the British hospitality industry.

Chef Patron at Lasan, Gordon Ramsay’s Best Local Restaurant 2009
Aktar Islam, Chef Patron at Lasan, Gordon Ramsay’s Best Local Restaurant 2009

Andrew Pern, Chef Patron at The Star in North Yorkshire, will also be joining the lineup at Coco Bodu Hithi. A talented self-taught Chef whose hearty northern dishes have been influenced by the likes of Paul Heathcote and Raymond Blanc, Andrew has a reputation as a gastropub pioneer and his dedication to local, seasonal produce has had a huge influence on the industry. Having regained their Michelin Star status in 2015, The Star was also voted 19th in the National Restaurant Awards Top 100 UK Restaurants.

Chef Patron at The Star, One Michelin Star
Andrew Pern, Chef Patron at The Star, One Michelin Star

Completing the roundup is Rogers Benham, a Food & Beverage Specialist with over 20 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry. Having worked for some of the worlds most renowned hoteliers among which are Four Seasons, The Savoy Group and Starwood Hotels, Rogers has also trained and worked alongside creative restaurateurs. He will bring his worldly expertise to the culinary scene at Coco Bodu Hithi, with interactive cocktail classes and wine tastings for guests to enjoy the art of Mixology.

Rogers Benham, Food & Beverage Specialist, Mixologist
Rogers Benham, Food & Beverage Specialist, Mixologist

Coco Collection Partners With Olive Ridley Project

Coco Collection is pleased to announce the official partnership with the Olive Ridley Project to setup turtle rescue centers and jointly reduce the effect of ghost nets on marine life. During a ceremony held at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu on 18th January, guests and associates joined Martin Stelfox, Founder and Chief Executive of the Olive Ridley Project and Dr. Jillian Amy Hudgins, the Project Scientist of the Olive Ridley Project as well as Chiara Fumagalli, Coco Collection’s Resident Marine Biologist, to officially kick off this partnership.

This partnership will see the construction of the first Olive Ridley Project Turtle Rescue Center at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu with a dedicated team member of the Project at the Center to oversee the operations. Guests of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu will be able to support the project and donate funds for the construction of this Center by purchasing a signature Olive Ridley Turtle toy available for USD 28, or by direct donations either at time of booking or on the resort. Proceeds will go towards the construction phase of the project, and once the center is established, educational presentations, tailored snorkeling sessions and ghost net research excursions will be available as guest experiences. Similar initiatives will take place at Coco Bodu Hithi in a later stage of this collaboration.

“Since its establishment in 2013, the Olive Ridley Project has been working actively with dedicated individuals who are keen to support the project by removing ghost nets that have been abandoned or lost in the ocean, continuing to entangle vulnerable marine animals. Coco Collection has been on board with us from the beginning and today, we are extremely happy to sign this partnership, declaring Coco Collection as the official Olive Ridley Project Partner for Turtle Rescue Centers in Maldives. This is the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership and I would like to thank all the guests and associates of Coco Collection for their continuous support and passion.” comments Martin Stelfox, Founder and Chief Executive of the Olive Ridley Project.

Chiara Fumagalli, Resident Marine Biologist
Chiara Fumagalli, Resident Marine Biologist

From 16th – 21st January, Martin was accompanied by Dr. Jillian Amy Hudgins at Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu where they joined Chiara Fumagalli for interactive guest presentations and excursions. With the overwhelming support of the associates, Martin & Jillian also conducted trainings on how to safely remove ghost nets from entangled marine life.

“I am beyond excited that Coco Collection is now an official partner of the Olive Ridley Project! With the continuous support of our eager guests and hardworking associates, this is a great opportunity for us to get more exposure for the detrimental effects of ghost nets on marine life and continue raising awareness to actively fight against it. We have received tremendous support from both guests and associates who have donated to the cause by purchasing the turtle toys and I am positively looking forward for the next step in this journey.” comments Chiara Fumagalli, Coco Collection’s resident Marine Biologist.

Keeping in line with its brand promise to care for the environment and recognize the need for sustainability, Coco Collection is proud to enrich their support for the Olive Ridley Project with this partnership.

About Olive Ridley Project 

The Olive Ridley Project was set up by a group of Marine biologists situated within the Maldives working towards preventing entanglement of Olive Ridley’s and other marine organisms. Apart from actively removing nets and helping any entangled marine life, the Olive Ridley Project compiles data identifying types of nets, fishing methods being used, and entanglements in order to figure out why so many nets are drifting in the Indian Ocean. With an aim to educate school children, local communities and all those whose depend on the Indian Ocean about the detrimental effects of ghost nets, the Olive Ridley Project hopes to work together with dedicated individuals to protect this ecologically important area. www.oliveridleyproject.org

Coco Collection Unveils The Lucky Winner Of 5 nights At Coco Bodu Hithi

With the festive season approaching fast, even in the warm tropics of Maldives, Coco Collection announces the lucky winner of the online contest, “Win a luxury stay for 5 nights at Coco Bodu Hithi”. Launched on 01st October 2014 to celebrate the re-vamp of the corporate websites, this contest asked eager entrants to familiarize themselves with the Coco Collection brand and individual properties and then submit their responses to related questions.

Congratulations to Gillian Lowes who won the lucky draw for the luxurious prize! Gillian Lowes, along with a companion, will receive 5 night’s complimentary accommodation in a secluded Escape Water Residence to explore the romantic and timeless charm of Coco Bodu Hithi.

Escape Water Villa, Coco Bodu Hithi
Escape Water Villa, Coco Bodu Hithi

“As an exciting contest attracting strong participation from our online community, this was an incredible opportunity for our audience to get some insight on Coco Collection as a luxury boutique hotel brand. I am delighted to congratulate Gillian on the opportunity to experience the raw beauty and warm hospitality of our chic resort, Coco Bodu Hithi. Gillian will be experiencing the seclusion of one of our Escape Water Residences, which in 2015 will see the introduction of privileged benefits such as private butler services to enhance the experience for discerning travelers.” comments Shafa Shabeer, Coco Collection’s Director of Marketing. “I thank each and every one of our participants for entering the contest and look forward to the New Year as our team prepares to roll out more surprises for guests to Rediscover Life’s Beauty.”

Beach Cinema, Coco Bodu Hithi
Beach Cinema, Coco Bodu Hithi

With the joyous announcement of this Coco Gift, Coco Collection is delighted to start the festive season off with a bang. To rekindle the merry spirits this Christmas, Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu are channeling the state of ‘Ufaa’, a Dhivehi word that translates to ‘Happiness’. Some of the festive program highlights at the Coco Collection resorts will be the Christmas tradition of opening the Gingerbread Village at Air Restaurant at Coco Bodu Hithi, while Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu invites guests to join the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. With a signature tropical ornament designed around the elements of ‘Ufaa’ that guests can expect to encounter around the resorts and Coco Collection’s online platforms, the moments spent with Coco Collection will be a celebration of a joyous Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Starting off the festivities with good vibes, Coco Collection is excited to offer guests unforgettable moments, and 2015 will be the beginning of new experiences to recognize the evolving needs of the discerning traveler.

Exclusive Yoga Retreat at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu by Birgit Feliz Carrasco

Starting this June, this exclusive Yoga retreat will combine Hatha Yoga movements with breathing exercises and meditation. Hatha movements are a great way to build strength and improve form as they cover particular body alignment exercises with thorough instructions.

Regarding the upcoming yoga retreat in Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, Birgit Feliz Carrasco commented “I am thrilled to lead this yoga retreat and am looking forward to set foot on the beautiful beaches of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu once again. The island holds special memories for me, as I have visited many times before to free my mind and let the serenity of nature envelop my whole being. The peaceful atmosphere of the island will surely aid guests participating in my retreat to attain balance of mind, body and soul, and return home refreshed and energized”.

Birgit Feliz Carrasco, Yoga Guru, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
Birgit Feliz Carrasco, Yoga Guru, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

A winner of World Luxury Hotel Awards 2013 and a nominee of World Luxury Spa Awards 2014, Coco Collection is a eminent hotel group, also a subsidiary of Sunland Hotels. Since opening the hotel in July 2007, the company continued to grow and developed its reputation as a stylish, sophisticated with sustainable hospitality.

Coco Collection’s comes with three unique brands, Coco Resorts – Retreats, Coco Privé and Coco Palm.

The Retreats includes the luxury resort Coco Bodu Hithi; Coco Palm features the environmentally conscious getaway Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu; and Coco Privé consists: the private and exclusive Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island.

Both Coco Palm Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu awarded the 2014 TripAdvisor outstanding hospitality

The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is known to honour excellence in hospitality by recognizing establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. It is noteworthy that Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu has been receiving this prestigious accolade since 2011 and are believed to be delighted to add the 2014 achievement to an impressive list of accomplishments.

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honour exceptional hospitality businesses for consistent excellence,” said Marc Charron, President of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”

Raffaele Solferino, General Manager at Coco Bodu Hithi said “We are thrilled to win the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence yet again this year as it is such a great source of pride for the entire team at Coco Collection. Our aim is to not only provide guests with the best service imaginable, but to create unique experiences beyond what would usually be expected of a resort vacation. To know that our guests recognize the efforts of our team by expressing their sincere appreciation in return is truly the best seal of approval!”

Located on a picturesque island in Baa Atoll – Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, this stunning property offers 98 luxurious villas set in a unique natural setting. The island that opened in 1998, is well-known for having one of the greatest sunset beaches within the whole Maldives and is surrounded by the impossibly blue lagoon with its exotic marine life.

Based in North Male’ Atoll, Coco Bodu Hithi is known to first welcomed guests in 2006, radiating luxury chic fusion with traditional Maldivian touches. This boutique resort includes 100 uber-stylish villas, a variety collection of modern restaurants and bars, a Coco Spa, and water-sport centre. Along with a portfolio of an unforgettable ‘Uniquely Coco’ experiences, Coco Bodu Hithi is set to give wonderful moments made up of pristine beaches, palm trees and with a lively coral reef.

A winner of World Luxury Hotel Awards 2013 and a nominee of World Luxury Spa Awards 2014, Coco Collection is a eminent hotel group, also a subsidiary of Sunland Hotels. Since opening the hotel in July 2007, the company continued to grow and developed its reputation as a stylish, sophisticated with sustainable hospitality.

Coco Collection’s comes with three unique brands, Coco Resorts – Retreats, Coco Privé and Coco Palm.

The Retreats includes the luxury resort Coco Bodu Hithi; Coco Palm features the environmentally conscious getaway Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu; and Coco Privé consists: the private and exclusive Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island.

Manta Trust to educate on Manta Ray in Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

With the intention to raise awareness about Manta Ray Research in the Maldives, Coco Collection will be welcoming Manta Trust to Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu to interact with guests and associates.

The Maldivian Manta Ray Project was established in 2005 by British Marine Biologist and the Manta Trust founder Guy Stevens. Guy started working in the Maldives in 2003 and spent his first 18 months in the country on a dive liveaboard. During this time Guy was seeing Mantas all around the country and his curiosity about these amazing creatures grew.

Desperate to know more about why and where these sea creatures were found Guy looked to other marine biologists in the Maldives and around the world and found a shocking scarcity of information and research being done on these creatures. In 2005 the MMRP was founded and became one of very first Manta research projects around the world and the project of the Manta Trust.

The aims of the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP) when it was created were to characterise the population of Manta Rays in the Maldives. Not much data is available on the Maldives manta population and little research have been carried out on the life cycle and population dynamics. To achieve the objectives the project has worked closely with the Government of Maldives, tourists, local groups, volunteers, students and tour operators to create greater awareness and protection for the peaceful rays and their habitat.

coco-collection-Manta-TrustThe resort’s programme:

On 21 June 2014, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu will give a warm welcome to Marine Biologists from Manta Trust that includes Niv Froman, the Project Manager of Manta Trust Maldives, as well as Annie Murray, the Operations Manager of Manta Trust Maldives who will be spending 2 days at the resort, engaging guests in interactive presentations and inviting them to join a spectacular snorkeling excursion in South Baa Atoll, where they hope to encounter some Manta Rays gliding through the deep blue.

The team will start the program with an interactive presentation for the associates of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, to which the resort has invited students of schools from surrounding local islands.

In the evening, the visiting scientists along with Chiara Fumagalli, the resort’s own resident Marine Biologist, will hold an educational presentation for the resort’s guests at Conch Bar focusing on Manta Trust’s work alongside Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.

It is said that both presentations will focus mainly on the work that Manta Trust has been contributing to the Maldivian Manta Ray Project and offer guests and students also a chance to enrich their knowledge regarding these creatures.

On the morning of 22 June 2014, Coco Collection’s Resident Marine Biologist, Chiara Fumagalli, along with the group from Manta Trust will lead guests and associates on an adventurous snorkeling excursion that will hopefully include the extraordinary opportunity to swim with these mysterious creatures. Afterwards, Chiara will blend with guests at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu to share photos of the expedition.

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is offering a “Stay Longer and Pay Less” deal for guest who wants to experience the Manta Ray expedition where a 5 night’s stay will receive a discount of 25% while a 3 night’s stay will receive a discount of 10% from room rates. Also, guests can book their stay with Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu now to enjoy discounts of up to 7% from room rates.

Chiara Fumagalli, the Resident Marine Biologist at Coco Collection commented “This exciting expedition with the fellow Marine Biologists from Manta Trust is truly an amazing opportunity to experience these marvelous creatures gliding through the ocean. It is my absolute pleasure to welcome guests of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu to join us in this snorkeling excursion for a once in a lifetime chance to swim alongside Manta Rays while witnessing their natural behavior in person”.

Findings shows that the Maldives hosts the largest population of reef Manta Rays (Manta alfredi) in the world, however there is no local law that prohibits fishing or harming these increasingly defenseless creatures. In many countries direct fishing of manta rays and their similar species, driven by the huge grown demand of gill plates in Eastern Asia, decimates regional populations. Increased pressures from tourism is also known to have damaging impacts on these species which national legislation can help to control.

Research shows that Manta rays give birth to only one live born pup on average just once every 3-5 years and have one of the longest gestation periods of any creature. Their highly conservative reproductive strategy, combined with a slow growth rate and late maturity makes Manta Rays immensely susceptible to exploitation. Based on these reasons many countries are acting quickly to protect their regional population of Mantas. Like the Maldives, Indonesia, is known to have one of the world’s leading Manta tourism destinations, recently established the largest Manta Ray sanctuary in the world.

Manta rays are an important resource in the Maldives to promote Manta ecotourism. The Maldives has already showed its commitment to marine conservation by protecting all species of sharks and establishing several Marine Protected Areas throughout the archipelago.

The contribution and support of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and Coco Bodu Hithi has been recently recognized by Manta Trust by ranking Coco Collection as the top submitter of newly identified Manta Ray sightings and the second top submitter of overall Manta Ray sightings for the year 2013. It is known that Coco Collection is thrilled to be a part of such initiatives and during the event hopes to educate guests and associates regarding the population and behavior of Maldivian Manta Rays, also aiding the research objectives of Manta Trust.

A winner of World Luxury Hotel Awards 2013 and a nominee of World Luxury Spa Awards 2014, Coco Collection is a eminent hotel group, also a subsidiary of Sunland Hotels. Since opening the hotel in July 2007, the company continued to grow and developed its reputation as a stylish, sophisticated with sustainable hospitality.

Coco Collection’s comes with three unique brands, Coco Resorts – Retreats, Coco Privé and Coco Palm.

The Retreats includes the luxury resort Coco Bodu Hithi; Coco Palm features the environmentally conscious getaway Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu; and Coco Privé consists: the private and exclusive Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island.