Himmafushi Breaks at Kanbili

Just outside Himmafushi’s Kanbili Guest House live an odd couple – one with a name befitting royalty, the other…not.

They can be found just yards from the from the netted joali chairs outside the reception area, past a white beach-ful of tall palm trees, which all lean forward to get a better look at their popular neighbours.

Kanbili GH. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj
Kanbili GH. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj

One is called Sultans, the other Honky’s, the sibling surf breaks that make Himmafushi one of the best places to ride the waves on the Maldives’ prolific whitewater reefs.

Following the advent of surf tourism in the archipelago a quarter of a century ago, both waves and foreign visitors travel thousands of miles to meet at the tip of Thamburudhoo island, before going their separate ways with the famous swells.

Surfer near Thamburudhoo. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj
Surfer near Thamburudhoo island. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj

Himmafushi – sitting less than a kilometre across the channel – was home to another of the Maldives’ most famous imports, Tony Hussein Hinde, the shipwrecked Australian who brought modern surfing to the country in the 1970s.

Describing the local breaks – which include the nearby ‘Pasta Point’ and Himmafushi’s own ‘Jails’ – as “like every surfing fantasy I’d ever imagined”, Hinde realised that his “sacred mission” to find the perfect paradise wave had ended.

But the island of Himmafushi, lying just an hour north of the capital by ferry (20 minutes by speed boat), is perfect for those looking for a sample of all the Maldives has to offer.  With a local community of around 1,800 people, the island has its own fish processing plant, with the impressive haul brought in each day a reminder of the strong economic currents that move beyond the surf.

Far from the harsh realities of island life initially encountered by Himmafushi’s surf pioneer, however, today’s visitors can enjoy the beauty of life on the sand and in the ocean, with all the modern comforts.

Residents at Kanbili – one of the first establishments on the island to ride the recent wave of guest house tourism – can enjoy the fabled breaks of North Malé atoll in the days, while relaxing in cool and spacious rooms (big enough to swing a surfboard in) during the evenings.

Traditional staples of island life are available to guests, with mantas, turtles and sharks every bit as common a neighbourhood sight as the surfers. Fishing trips – day or night –  are readily available, while the ingredients for beach barbecues can be plucked on demand from the ocean garden in front.

Additional extras, such as the a sun terrace – complete with jacuzzi – are welcome accompaniments after a day exploring the busy atoll.

Kanbili GH guest house. Photo Credit Aishath Naj
Kanbili GH. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj

For those who feel greater affinity with Sultans than its partner, discounted day-trips to local resorts are available, where they will meet fellow travellers paying a premium to visit the waves outside Kanbili’s windows. The nearby Four Seasons resort will host its sixth international surf championship on the Sultans break this August.

While Kanbili – with its own launch – can offer some of the cheapest airport transfers available, inexpensive local ferries leave for the capital once a day, offering the chance to add an urban adventure to the island experience.

Special for the surf, but excellent for everything, Himmafushi is ideally placed to allow visitors to enjoy all the atoll has to offer, while the Kanbili Guest House is well-positioned for the perfect break.

Kanbili GH

Kanbili GH is located on the island of Himmafushi in North Malé Atoll, 15km away from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. The property provides transfers from the airport by boat, which takes approximately 20 minutes. Free WiFi is available in public areas. Complimentary transport to the bikini beach is provided. Each room here will provide you with air conditioning, a balcony and a terrace. Private bathroom comes with a shower. You can enjoy sea view from the room. Extras include a minibar and cable channels. At Kanbili you will find a shared lounge and spa bath. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including diving, windsurfing and snorkelling. The Male City is a 45 minute ferry ride away.

Soneva reveals details of its newest resort — Soneva Jani

24 water villas and 1 island villa to open in October 2016 in the Maldives
All villas feature a retractable roof for stargazing
The resort is set in a 5.6km private lagoon

Soneva, the world-leading luxury resort operator, has revealed details of its newest resort, Soneva Jani, opening in October 2016 in the Maldives. The brand’s newest luxury resort offering will comprise 24 water villas and one island villa, with additional island villas planned at a later stage.

Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru, which is part of an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. The highlight of the resort is its location within a 5.6 kilometer lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean. The main island is fringed by pristine beaches and blanketed with lush tropical greenery.

Soneva Jani
Soneva Jani

Every water villa has a private pool and opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with some villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. The highlight of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze. Like all other Soneva properties, the spacious villas feature beautifully designed interiors by Eva Shivdasani, one of Soneva’s co-founders, and are made from the highest quality sustainable materials.

“When we opened Soneva Gili more than 15 years ago, it stood out as a unique and new concept in luxury travel.  It is my belief that Soneva Jani is even more revolutionary.  There are many small details and improvements, for example at Soneva Gili, guests would often sleep on the top deck so that they could sleep under the stars. In each Soneva Jani Water Retreat or Reserve the master bedroom roof slides back at the press of a button. It closes automatically if it rains,” said Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of Soneva.

Soneva Jani
Soneva Jani

“We live in an ever more crowded and developed world. Soneva Jani is one of the lowest density resorts in the world. Just 25 Villas are built in an area that stretches nearly five kilometers. It is not an island resort.  It is a lagoon with five private islands where only one of these will have development. When designing and building Soneva Jani, I was very mindful that when we open, the area should seem as natural and beautiful as the first day I laid eyes on it,” he added. “Soneva Jani is one of the most anticipated hotel openings in the Indian Ocean this year. We have already witnessed a huge amount of interest, with the first few weeks fully booked within a few days of opening the booking system to the global travel trade.”

Soneva Jani
Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani will include all of Soneva’s popular features including a Spa, a dive centre, an observatory, a children’s den, an Eco Centro, organic gardens and an outdoor Cinema Paradiso. The cinema will be the first ‘silent cinema’ in the Maldives, as guests will be given Bluetooth earphones to watch movies so as not to disturb the nesting wildlife in the area.

The resort will serve global cuisine at five dining outlets, and will feature Soneva’s ubiquitous cheese, chocolate, ice-cream and charcuterie rooms that are complimentary for all guests. Various destination and specialty dining experiences will also be available.

Soneva Jani
Soneva Jani

“Soneva Jani is a place of incredible natural beauty. The waters in the lagoon have the most vibrant shades of blue that I have not seen anywhere else in the Maldives. We have an extensive array of marine life, including turtles, rays and occasionally dolphins, and the lagoon is an excellent place for kayaking, sailing and swimming as it is calm, shallow and extends for miles and miles. The villas are stunning and include all the attention to detail that Soneva is renowned for. Construction is progressing quickly and we are on track for an opening in October 2016,” said Olivia Richli, the Pre-Opening and General Manager of Soneva Jani.

Soneva Jani includes 18 units of one-bedroom Water Retreats, four units of two-bedroom Water Retreats, one three-bedroom Water Retreat, 1 three-bedroom Water Reserve, and one four-bedroom Island Reserve.

Soneva Jani
Soneva Jani

In constructing the resort, Soneva kept its environmental impact as low as possible. The pools use seawater with UV filtration and the villas have been built over the sandy floors of the lagoon, with no damage to any part of the reef. Furthermore, solar PV will be a significant source of power generation at the resort, all waste-water will be collected and treated on-site, and water will also be produced on-site, including drinking water. Soneva’s Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre will ensure that waste is recycled, while the extensive vegetable garden will give local produce for the restaurants based on organic principles.

The resort’s soft opening is planned for October 01, 2016, while the official opening date is fixed at November 05, 2016. Bookings are now available from October 01, 2016 onwards.

Soneva Jani
Soneva Jani

In addition to Soneva Jani, 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

Maldives holds roadshows in India

The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), has started a 4-city roadshow – Lucknow, Chandigarh, Pune, and Hyderabad till the 20th of this month. These roadshows are a part of initiatives by MMPRC to promote Maldives tourism and are a follow-up to the Roadshows held in 2015 in the cities of India: New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai which were met with tremendous success.

Organized by the Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC), 5 representative partners from the tourism industry of Maldives: Dusit Thani, Sun Siyam Resorts, Adaaran Resorts, Lily Beach Resort and Spa and Travelers Street is also participating at the Roadshow.

A lucky draw, sponsored by Sun Siyam Resorts and Dusit Thani, is being held at every road show where the winner gets a free vacation in the Maldives.

India is the sixth biggest market for the Maldivian tourism. In the first quarter of 2016, 14,171 tourists visited the Maldives from India. From January to December 2015, 52,368 Indians visited Maldives which is an increase of 14.9% compared to the year 2014.

In recent years, Maldives has become a popular travel destination with Indians. It has emerged as vacation favourite for Indian celebrities like Bipasha Basu, Karan Singh Grover, Abhishek Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shahid Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Sanam Puri to name a few who regularly visits, while number of Bollywood film makers regularly shoot in the Maldives such as.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwvn-heOJVw

Maldives offers free 30-day visa on-arrival for all nationalities.

Record Number of Sea Turtles Hatchlings Release

In the late afternoon sun, fifty baby turtles, barely the size of a seashell, scurried across Dusit Thani Maldives’ white sandy beach and made their way to the turquoise Indian Ocean.

Guests lined the beach, watching the tiny creatures scramble to the water. Leading the crowd in and cheering them on was Rebecca Bull, resident Marine Biodiversity Educator who closely monitored the Green Sea Turtle eggs since their nest discovery was made. While turtles tend to return to the very same beach that they themselves were hatched, it is hoped that the emerging hatchlings will imprint on Mudhdhoo Island and return in their in their maturity to lay their own eggs.

Dusit Thani Maldives
Dusit Thani Maldives

This year, these vulnerable sea turtles set a nesting record with only four weeks into nesting season. With a total of five nests on the island, this would set a record number of nests recorded on the resort. Two of the nests have already produced the first hatchlings of the year; over 100 juvenile Green Sea Turtles, whilst the resort is expecting approximately 200 hatchlings from the other three nests. Green Sea Turtles are listed as an endangered species globally, and listed in the Mediterranean as critically endangered. Therefore this rare and special sighting will make any guest’s vacation a memorable one.

This all came about when Sea Turtle tracks were discovered one bright morning making their way up the beach. The resort appointed employees to create “Turtle Camps” and guarded over the nest during incubation. Guests of all ages who were staying at the luxury resort during this time were invited to participate in the amazing phenomenon by witnessing the release of the newly-born turtles into the ocean.

Dusit Thani Maldives is fully committed to the care and protection of Sea Turtles in Maldives. The resort raises awareness, shares information to hotel guests and takes part in Turtle Conservation by helping to protect endangered sea turtle eggs and rehabilitating injured turtles back to full health for release.

Marble

Marble is located in Male’ City, the capital Island of the Maldives, the sunny side of life. We are just 10 minutes ferry ride from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, perfect for business or transit travelers.

At convenient peaceful location, our Facilities and services include Rani Maalam Conference hall, Dining functions, Ladies Gym, Marble Café Restaurant & Sunset lounge Club house. In-house guest laundry service regularly takes one day and ironing boards are available on request. Hotel cab service up to the airport ferry jetty is available on request and WIFI internet is available hotel wide. Reception is open round the clock with concierge, call operator, cashiering and business services.

Marble Café caters for local weddings & party functions. We serve Ala carte menu, offering international cuisine, a wide variety of beverages and occasional live music.

Sunset Lounge is an exclusive clubhouse on the terrace floor ideal for sun bathing, viewing sunset & photography. The clubhouse  facilitates an outdoor Jacuzzi, sauna and fun games like billiards, darts, board games, reading corner, TV lounge.

Our exciting outings include diving safari trips, snorkeling, fishing, sea sports, Male’ city tour, local island visits, tourist resort visits and visit to a Bar.

Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Whale Sharks…Oh My

Tips from Centara Maldives Experts and Enthusiasts

There is no denying it, the pristine turquoise waters of the Maldives captures everyone’s attention. But for many, it is all about what is found in the waters in the Maldives that have them swimming. With healthy coral and a serious abundance of marine life such as manta rays, eagle rays and a variety of sharks that includes whale sharks, scuba divers are flocking to feast their eyes on the underwater playground that some are very lucky to call home. Centara Hotels & Resorts is very familiar with what is happening underwater in the Maldives with two properties from shipwrecks to underwater weddings. Our enthusiastic team from Centara Maldives – Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa and Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa – have shared some wonderful tips and experiences to further entice you to come and dive with us.

“The sun plays a huge role in how vibrant the colours of the coral and the fish are. The sun rays illuminate the waters highlighting all the action, creating a perfect environment for photographers and divers” shares Nicha Duanglaithong, Centara Maldives Sales Coordinator, who has spent a great deal of time in the water.

Diving, reef, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa

Our Dive Centre (Best Dive) Operation Manager, Mark Stevens, from Centara Grand Island has some great tips to share. We asked Mark a few questions.  

Q: What is the best advice you have for beginners to get them started? A: “If you are a beginner, just try it!  It is normal to be a little scared at first but once you have mastered a few basic skills you will love it.”

Q: What is the best part about diving in the Maldives? A: “The coral and fish. There is a lot of diversity with a lot of different and equally amazing dive sites. There is a dive for everyone – from easy dives to current dives for all skill levels.”

Mark Stevens also encourages divers to “become very familiar with your dive equipment. This familiarity is vital to assist in your confidence and safety while underwater.”

“We understand how important and precious this underwater ecosystem is and we want to ensure that it continues to thrive,” comments Mark Stevens. In order to best facilitate the diving experience for you while protecting marine life and the ecosystem, our instructors, through Best Dives Maldives, provide a clear briefing on responsible diving practices that reminds snorkelers and divers to respect their underwater surroundings.

Our friend, Mohamed Saajid nickname – Saitte’, Reservations Agent at Centara Grand Island and expert diver, share with us one of the best diving experiences he has had recently…”one of the perks of working in the Maldives – diving!” comments Saitte’. “A few days back I went on a night dive to MV Kudhima wreck, located near the house reef of Centara Grand Island. I saw a huge Moray Eel getting ready for his dinner. He located a huge parrot fish, stayed patiently waiting for his chance to grab his meal. Once the right moment came, he grabbed his meal and ate the whole fish within minutes. It was truly incredible and stunning to see these amazing predators actively seeking for their prey.”

MV Kudhi Maa, Kudhima, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa

Many will never experience the quiet moments underwater, interacting with some of the world’s most majestic creatures and Mr. Damantha Sanjeewa, Front Desk Agent at Centara Grand Island always reminds guests that “Diving is fun. It is exhilarating. Remember to relax while you dive.  And maybe most important enjoy the moment…and take pictures!”

While mantas, whale sharks, turtles, reef and hammerhead sharks can be found in the Maldives all year round, there are no guarantees about what will be seen on any given dive. Diver encounters are dependent on a variety of environmental factors, however, our team of experts have creating experiences to heighten your chances of the dive of a lifetime.

Turtles, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa
Turtles, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa
Whale Shark, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa
Whale Shark, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa

Enjoying the invigorating diving that the Maldives has to offer has never been more accessible with the new additions to our ALL-INCLUSIVE packages at both properties. Diving is now an everyday option with these amazing packages and allows you to explore all the depths of the waters.   

Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa
Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa

There are a variety of courses available for you and your family while staying with us.  “We always advise beginner divers to start off with our Discover Scuba Diving programme which provides the basic knowledge and training that they need,” added our dive expert from Best Dives at Centara Ras Fushi, Ibrahim Shaan. “This is followed by gently introducing beginners into shallow water.  After this programme, divers are confident and comfortable to start exploring.”  Before you leave, you may have developed a new skill and a new love for the ocean.  Sounds pretty great to us!  See you soon in the Maldives.

Roxy-Pacific Holdings to create upscale Noku-branded resort in the Maldives

Singapore company completes purchase of Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru and plans for relaunch

Property and hospitality group Roxy-Pacific Holdings has revealed plans for its newly acquired Maldives resort, Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru. The company yesterday finalised the purchase of the Noonu Atoll property from AAA Group, a deal for which JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group was the exclusive advisor.

Roxy Pacific Managing Director Mr. Chris Teo confirmed that the resort will undergo extensive renovation of guest villas, public spaces and food & beverage (F&B) outlets before opening in the first quarter of 2017. Upon completion it will be the second property to be marketed under Roxy’s premium Noku brand. The first opened in Kyoto, Japan in November 2015.

“We are extremely excited to have completed the acquisition of this stunning property, our first in the Maldives. We look forward to turning it into an exceptional resort that will appeal to upmarket travelers looking for unique experiences in one of the most desirable destinations in the world,” says Mr. Teo. “This acquisition fits with our broader strategy of acquiring boutique properties in Asia Pacific’s up-and-coming locations.”

“As a Maldivian owned and independently managed resort, we are delighted to have found a buyer who would be committed to continuing to deliver the high standards of service and hospitality our team has strived for.” says Mr. Ahmed Hamza, Deputy Managing Director of AAA Group. “We welcome them to the Maldives and congratulate them on acquiring Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru.”

“This is a great outcome for both Roxy Pacific and the seller, AAA Group,” says Mr. Nihat Ercan, Executive Vice President, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, Asia. “The Maldives is a global gateway resort destination. Coupled with its robust trading environment and investor-friendly policies, the country is a highly attractive destination for investors from Asia Pacific, Middle East and beyond. The sale of Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru is the eighth resort transaction exclusively marketed and sold by JLL and underpins the depth of investment activity in the market.

“On the back of this momentum, we are continuing to market resorts in the Maldives and Indian Ocean exclusively on behalf of owners,” adds Mr. Ercan.

Aerial, Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru
Aerial, Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru

Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru Resort and Spa currently comprises 50 villas (30 over-water villas and 20 beach villas), four F&B outlets, a full-service spa, an ocean-front fresh water infinity pool, a state-of-the-art diving centre, a fitness centre with full-sized tennis court, and a luxury boutique.

There were a record 1.23 million tourist arrivals in the Maldives in 2015 and in the first quarter of 2016, there has been a 4.3 percent increase in visitors compared to the same period last year.

Visitors from China make up 29 percent of arrivals, making it the top tourism source market for the Maldives. The Indian Ocean archipelago continues to welcome a large number of visitors from Europe and between 2010 and 2015 the number of visitors from the Middle East more than tripled.

JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group

JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group has completed more transactions than any other hotels and hospitality real estate advisor over the last five years, totalling more than $68 billion worldwide.

Between negotiating the world’s most extraordinary, enticing, and profitable property deals, the group’s 350-strong global team also closed more than 4,400 advisory, valuation and asset management assignments.

Investors worldwide turn to JLL to shape their strategies, tailor their portfolios and maximize the value of their assets. We are recognized as the global leader in real estate services across hospitality properties of all shapes and sizes. Our expert advice is backed by industry-leading research.

We apply our broad spectrum of hotel valuation, brokerage, asset management and consultancy services through every phase of the hotel lifecycle. We have helped more hotel investors, owners and operators achieve high returns on their assets than any other real estate advisor in the world.

 

Whether you are looking for a hotel or you’re ready to sell, we’ll use our capital markets expertise, hospitality industry knowledge and global relationships to put the right parties together and execute a bespoke deal that exceeds your objectives.

Kurumba Maldives Makes A Splash With Newly Renovated Dive Centre

The team at Kurumba Maldives is delighted to announce the reopening of the Euro-Divers dive centre on 12th May. This was completed as part of the resort’s continual improvement philosophy; to provide the best value in any 5-star resort within the Maldives. As the Maldives is listed as one of the top locations for diving in the world, Kurumba Maldives wishes to encourage more guests to experience this wonderful activity, in this very unique environment.

The aesthetic of the Dive Centre has been designed to provide a welcoming and open entrance which will be much easier for guests to find. Flowing spaces make up the tank room, storage and drying rooms as well as allowing for an inspiring dive school classroom; while in addition, the showers and bathrooms have been updated. The centre is also fully equipped with state-of-the-art gear and nitrox free of charge for license holders, and offers vast storage for in-house guest equipment.

Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives
Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives

The remodelling is complete with high ceilings under a traditional thatched roof, constructed from distinctive materials such as lava stone, ceramic and pebble-textured tile, with natural woods under silver, white, and turquoise furnishings. The Dive Centre now faces the sunset and ocean, and the open-plan style, brings an airy and relaxed atmosphere to the space.

Although conveniently located within 10 minutes of Malé airport, Kurumba also offers the chance for guests to explore over 30 different dive sites, the most famous sites being Banana Reef, HP, Nassimo, Okobe and top manta spot, Sunlight Thila. Most of these amazing dive sites are found within a 5-30 minute boat trip from the resort, including 2 manta points, and some of the most exciting drift dives in the Maldives.

Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives
Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives

Euro-Divers offers a selection of internationally recognized PADI dive courses ranging from the Bubblemaker for children, through to Assistant Instructor qualifications with many specialties in between.

Kurumba Maldives Dive School, operated by Euro-Divers is open 7 days a week, with 3 scheduled dives per day on offer, as well as night dives and fluo night dives on request. There are customized schedules for all ages from 8 to 80, and free trial dives 3 days per week for those keen to explore the underwater world.

Blessed with a year round water temperature between 28 to 30 degrees Celsius, with water visibility up to 40 meters, the Maldives is the perfect destination for recreational divers. Kurumba hopes that the newly upgraded dive centre will encourage more guests to start their dive journey or continue to explore the beautiful underwater world.

Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives
Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives

As the famous Jacques Cousteau once said: “When man sinks beneath the surface, he is free.” Kurumba Maldives invites their guests to discover the beautiful freedom of the marine world and experience life in full colour.

For more information and a special celebratory offer, please check:

www.kurumba.com/maldives-scuba-diving
www.euro-divers.com/scuba-diving-maldives/kurumba-maldives
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UZoVBuwn1Q
http://www.kurumba.com/maldives-diving-offer

Anantara Opens First Padi-Certified Free Diving Centre In The Maldives

The Maldives attracts travellers from around the world with a visual spectacle unlike anywhere else on the globe. Above the waterline and beneath the waves, unbelievable worlds await exploration. Anantara opens the door to new encounters with a pioneering aquatic experience in a nation where the total area is 99.99% water. Available to guests at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort and Naladhu Maldives, Aquafanatics is the first PADI-certified free diving centre in the island nation.

A multitude of watersports from scuba diving to surfing and deep-sea fishing to sailing connect guests from all three resorts to the glistening lure of the Indian Ocean. Launching a country first, the free diving centre offers another dimension to ocean-based adventures on the islands.

The less explored activity of free diving strips many restraints attached with traditional scuba diving. A truly liberating activity, it relies on the diver to hold their breath, leaving them free to move unhindered through the translucent Maldivian waters.

Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort
Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort

With no oxygen tank bubbles to distort vision, the vivid colouration of coral life glows brighter than ever. Devoid of heavy equipment, guests move at will alongside inquisitive fish, developing a sense of belonging. With every dive guests acquire the ability to stay below a little longer, discovering more on each descent.

Free diving is entwined with the cultural heritage of the islands in the Indian Ocean. Since ancient times locals have harvested sponges and clasped gleaming pearls from beneath the waves. Anantara’s professional freediving instructor, Mari Kagaya, reveals a peaceful, intrinsic underwater encounter. “The Maldives provide the pinnacle in free diving adventure,” she explains. “Escaping the trappings of scuba gear, our encounters with sea life are graceful, natural and deeply personal. Guests discover their own hidden depths, not only of their body, but also the mind.”

Naladhu Maldives
Naladhu Maldives

Every diver is made to feel at ease in the water with Mari, who is originally from Japan. Her warm and welcoming approach to teaching freediving has been mastered since 2002 when qualifying as a diving instructor in Honduras. Amidst the gentle lapping sounds of the ocean, the resorts’ guests are guided through the theory of free diving. With a new focus on breathing and reserving energy, all that’s left is to turn in the water and embark on a new journey of self-discovery in the Indian Ocean.

To reserve a stay and experience the pleasures of freediving first hand, travellers are invited to contact +960 664 4111 or [email protected]. For more information on Anantara’s Maldives resorts, visit anantara.com.