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  • Maldives Photographer of the Month – Lucie Mohelnikova
    The Maldives has many photogenic qualities, from landscape to marine life and even the people and culture. Some photographers have the ability to capture the essence of this archipelago in a way that stands out from the average photograph taken by holiday makers. Their photographs not only show us a picture but somehow bring us […]
  • Adventures by Season in the Maldives
    The Maldives is a year-round adventure destination. There’s a distinct high season from about November to February, but labelling the best season to travel there is a bit more difficult. It will depend on the planned activities that define which season will be ideal to plan a trip among this Indian Ocean archipelago. Diving with […]
  • All Aboard! Watercraft of the Maldives
    The Maldives: An island nation with about 1200 tiny islands covering an expansive stretch in the middle of the Indian Ocean. As such, it is near impossible to spend time in the Maldives without ever boarding a boat. Visitors either hop aboard to get from place to place or go with the intent to live […]
  • Rays of Light from Below in the Maldives – Marine Rays
    From above the Maldives intense rays shine down – but not all Maldives rays are from the sun. From below, rays of another kind fly, swoop, swirl, and creep through the water. Unlike the bright sunshine, you can stare directly at these marine rays that come in different shapes, sizes and each with distinct, intimidating […]
  • One Week Aboard Ocean Divine – Get Spoiled in Style
    We are so excited about the addition of Ocean Divine to our collection that we are following last week’s introduction with a real trip report from a diver who experienced all that the cruiser has to offer: On a breezy February afternoon, at Male International Airport: 12 guests from all over the world (France, Switzerland, […]
                                   


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Cocoa Island Maldives Resort Review

One of the most gorgeous resorts in the Maldives, Cocoa Island Resort is a member of the COMO Hotels chain, who also have hotels in Bali, Turks & Caicos, Bangkok and London, among other places.  The Cocoa Island is also known as Makunufushi and is located in the South Male Atoll in the Maldives, about 40 minutes from Male International Airport by water taxi.

Cocoa Island Cocoa Island Maldives Resort Review

Cocoa Island Maldives

Monday, May 13, 2013 @ 03:05 AM

The Maldives’ qualities of remoteness, refreshing ocean atmosphere and laid back island life are synonymous with relaxation holidays. In turn, a relaxation holiday conjures up thoughts of being pampered while surrounded by luxuriousness.   You can imagine yourself in a spa, sprawled out on a sun lounger or enjoying the privacy of your own comfy room.  If it’s the spa you or your partner is dreaming of, find out what to expect and what options are on the menu in Maldives’ spas.

Considering the complementary characteristics of spas and the Maldives’ islands – it all seems like a perfect fit.  Spas are relatively new in the country though, you may be surprised to know, and in a short period of about 5 years they have become common place and are found at almost every resort.  They are even found on dive cruisers!  Spas now come in many shapes, sizes and prices.

 

The Maldives Spa Range

Many resorts offer spa facilities though not all are created equal.  Some resorts provide spas simply as another of their services while others completely revolve around the spa, commonly known as destination spas.

These destination spa retreats are a high end luxury holiday choice that focuses on a holistic experience of health and well-being.  Combining meticulously perfected fitness, food and spa facilities these destination spa resorts immerse guests in an island refuge.  Some examples are the spa villages of Cocoa Island and Conrad Maldives.

For those who seek pampering but would rather be on the move and incorporate more natural water activities, a “safari” cruise spa is ideal.  This option is also great for those couples that share a love for each other but have different ideas of holiday fun, with packages dedicated either to spa or scuba dive interests or a mix of the two.  Diver and non-diver couples now have an option that provides the best of both worlds and divers who usually avoid spas can give a treatment a try saying, “when in Rome”!

Another advantage to a holiday aboard a cruise spa is the range of sights you’ll see.  Instead of spending the entire holiday on one island and having to board a boat each time you’d like to go explore, on a cruise you’ll see the sights effortlessly.  In between spa treatments or dive excursions, just look out your bedroom window at the passing seascape or relax on the deck, sunbathing with an ever-changing view.   The Scuba Spa Ying will be your dream spa experience at sea.

scubaspa ying night view palms Spoil Yourself with Solitude – Maldives Spas Uncovered

ScubaSpa Ying lets you experience the exotic scenery of the Maldives Islands while providing an on board spa experience.

 

Getting Special Treatment

When you’re abroad in a tropical destination you might like to try something new.  Also, you’re in an environment where the sun and sea prevail, a fact that spas in the Maldives have taken into account and tailored their services to suit this island lifestyle.

You may have heard of after-sun treatments to sooth sun-basked skin and pre-sun exfoliation to prepare for a nice deep tan, but some packages even offer application of sunscreen throughout the day.  One that is highly rated by travelers is the One&Only Reethi Rah in North Male atoll, Maldives.

On the spa menu there are as many options as in the fine restaurants: post-dive and detoxifying treatments, acupressure and nail treatments, among various ethnic massage types from Balinese to Swedish.  For those who want to further enhance the decadence there are combo treatments like simultaneous facial and body massages with more than one therapist taking care of you at the same time.

Natural products like coconut and herbal oils, tropical fruits, seaweed and vanilla leaves all grace the menus of spas around the Maldives.  The aromas won’t let you forget you’re in a tropical hideaway.

 

The Maldives Spa Experience

Needless to say, spas go out of their way to provide comfort to guests, from the bathrobes to the atmosphere of calm.

There are usually pairs of treatment tables or special bungalows for couples’ treatments and the spa facilities accommodate all the ideal elements of body leisure.  Laze around in the sauna, Jacuzzi or lounge taking in rejuvenation through all the senses of smell, touch, taste and sight.  Beverages and snacks keep you energized from the inside.

Booking your treatments around your “schedule” won’t be difficult considering your day is pretty much wide open.  Sleep till late and wake up slowly with a massage or wind down after a busy day meeting Maldives marine life with a healthy massage “night-cap” – it’s up to you and your idea of the ideal spa holiday.

For total health and well-being some spas take into account fitness with fully-equipped gyms and exercise classes such as yoga.  Yoga retreats are even popping up in the Maldives outside the resorts on local islands in guest houses like Kuri Inn on Omadhoo Island.

 

It’s obvious that Maldives spas have perfected the methods of incorporating tropical essences and charm while nestled in the boundless waters of the Indian Ocean.  Whether tucked away in a resort or cruising the dispersed island chain, these spa experiences are a way to personalize your holiday.  The packages of ScubaSpa Ying are revealed and you’ll find impressive introductory offers here.

 

 

Spoil Yourself with Solitude – Maldives Spas Uncovered is a post from: Maldives Blog

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 Spoil Yourself with Solitude – Maldives Spas Uncovered

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Sunday, January 13, 2013 @ 11:01 PM

Ever wonder what makes all these beautiful reefs thrive and what attracts the amazing marine life to certain dive spots? Well, they won’t end up the focus of your camera lens but there’s a lot more than you think to the ocean’s tiniest creatures – plankton!  While we swoon over whale sharks, manta rays, turtles and their handsome friends, what about the little guys that make it all happen?  The ocean food web is highly dependent on plankton and they can be nice to look at as well as you’ll soon see.

The most vibrant members of the plankton family are attracting the most attention, with some kinds that like to flaunt their luminescent colors.  Like the glowing whales that amazed viewers of the movie Life of Pi, a real version of the radiant blue waters can be found in the Maldives. While the reality may not be seeing glowing whales jump next to your boat in the Maldives, on the shores of some islands like Vaadhoo in Raa Atoll, the plankton can be found displaying their bioluminescent effect. Best seen first-hand, photos of the effect just don’t seem to show the concentration of the millions of miniscule ‘glows’ that the plankton give off at night.

Not to encourage form over function, the ocean’s inhabitants depend on the role of phytoplankton.  While it’s no small feat to create over 50% of the atmosphere’s oxygen (which we breathe – hello!) they also act as nutrients for, among other things, zooplankton.  This provides the connection up to the small and not-so-small ocean celebrities, like whale sharks. Not to mention that great shows such as the Hanifaru Bay manta feeding frenzies come about with the zooplankton abundance brought by ocean currents.

 

Thank Plankton for your Diving Trip in the Maldives

The irresistible attraction to “yummy” plankton is just one of the effects that divers can thank plankton for.  When clusters of plankton are pushed across reefs and into bays by water currents, zooplankton end up together in huge numbers that are tempting to ‘planktivorous’ mantas, hungry fish and swooping whale sharks which will be the stars of your Facebook and Flikr albums.

The collection of plankton with ocean current movement is a characteristic of pinnacle reefs, or Thila as they’re known in Dhivehi, the local language.  Food sources like plankton collect at the reefs providing a feast for many reef natives, coral to fish alike. Since Thila’s are great attractions for marine life, so are they attractions for divers and marine enthusiasts.  Hence, the reason for liveaboard tours to make pinnacle reefs a must-see on any tour.  Known Thilas are found all over.  In Ari Atoll there’s Kudarah, Maalhos and Maaya Thilas and in South Male some challenging dives are found at Kandooma and Cocoa Thila, to name a few.

It’s not just swimming creatures that consume plankton either.  Coral and smaller sea dwellers are in need of plankton to fill their bellies. As a diver, the role of coral as the hub of the marine ecosystem will be obvious.  Its full contributions may not be so apparent however.  The health of the marine underworld may stem from the access to plankton thorough its nourishment to a range of sea life in all shapes and sizes.  Reefs are also a shelter for its residents and human use for medicinal and recreational purposes cannot be ignored.  Not to mention that outside the reef itself, coral reefs serve to provide shore barriers to erosion and that those beautiful sandy beaches are created from remnants of coral.

So it goes to show that maintaining coral is essential.  It’s sustained by the consumption of live prey of various sizes, ranging from small fishes down to even smaller zooplankton. You heard right, some of that pretty coral is actually feasting on fish flesh! They feed at night though so you won’t see it during your day dives.  All in all plankton is a facilitator in the maintenance of reefs and, indirectly, in the protection from erosion, in beach building and potentially to sustaining habitation for organisms that will be useful in medicine.

A red coral with white plankton catchers all over itself seen in the Maldives 600x449 Spotlight on Plankton: Unsung Heroes of Maldives Marine Life

Red coral in the Maldives covered with white plankton catchers

 

Plankton to Persevere

With all of the beneficial effects that plankton brings, it’s easy to see how interruptions in its productivity or movement could have knock on effects.  For example, the drop in manta births in 2010 and 2011 is said to be a result of lack of plankton available to the manta ray population brought on by a reduction in the south-west monsoon winds.  Small changes can have larger effects in the intersecting web of the natural world and while there will undeniably be natural ebbs and flows in the rhythm of population levels, researchers will surely be watching out for any significant changes through the seasons. The Manta Trust is one organisation looking over manta rays and making efforts to ensure their habitat, including feeding areas, are maintained.

The occurrence of phytoplankton bioluminescence is even being used as a marker for ocean health.  The population numbers have been decreasing according to records and this is being linked to warming water temperatures.  This, in turn, is setting off alarm bells for some who see this as a warning sign for larger climate issues.  What we do know for sure, shifts and changes are realities of nature; endeavouring to ensure that our actions are not channels for its devastation can be our challenge.

Plan your next trip to see the beauty created by the tiny creatures of the ocean.  Check out our packages!

Spotlight on Plankton: Unsung Heroes of Maldives Marine Life is a post from: Maldives Blog

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 Spotlight on Plankton: Unsung Heroes of Maldives Marine Life

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