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4268 16 Jun 2022

#PlayWell with Manta Rays at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort

Snorkel with Manta Rays and Discover Diverse Marine Life

The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort, located in Baa Atoll, the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives, offers guests the chance to get up-close-and-personal with manta rays at one of the worlds largest natural manta feeding destinations. Guests have the rare opportunity to snorkel with the gentle giants at the protected site of Hanifaru Bay just 18 kilometers from the resort.

The Maldives is home to the largest population of studied Manta Rays, with over 4,900 individuals identified, which also includes the endangered Oceanic Manta Ray. Among these, 1800 have been recorded at Hanifaru bay. This years Manta season officially started on May 6, 2022 and is expected to continue until early November. During peak season, more than 100 Mantas can be seen feeding at the bay and one may also see Whale Sharks, especially during full moon. said the resorts resident Marine Biologist, Filipa Lopes.

With wingspans up to seven meter, speeds up to 24 kilometers per hour, and cognitive function at par with dolphins, manta rays are indeed one of the most majestic creatures in the ocean. Classed as vulnerable, the Maldivian government added all ray species to the list of protected species, which also strengthens the countries reputation as a leader in marine conservation and promotes the valuable, sustainable tourism based around manta populations. By connecting people to mantas, the mantas chances of survival will increase.

Filipa adds to warn, Climate change can impact these gentle giants food source - as it is predicted that the rise in sea temperature will result in decline in zooplankton populations - and a scarcity of food can affect their reproductive ecology, declining manta ray population numbers. Luckily, Maldivian Manta population is one of the best studied in the world and is considered stable ate the moment.

The Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve is known for its rich marine biodiversity and stunning coral reef, which guarantee guests a wide variety of colorful reef fish in every snorkeling experience such as Batfish, Fusiliers and Anemone Fish to name just a few. Dolphins can be spotted regularly from the island, and guests can get a closer view particularly during the sunset dolphin cruise excursions offered regularly by the resort.

For those looking to enhance their underwater life knowledge, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort also conducts a weekly Marine Biology presentation, where anyone interested can learn more about the rich marine life around the resort and ask their questions to its passionate resident Marine Biologist, Filipa Lopes.

Guests can also choose from various other exciting watersport activities and excursions on this idyllic island, ranging from Jet Ski rides, to snorkeling with turtles and traditional sunset fishing.

For this season, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort has recently launched a special package for diving enthusiasts or anyone who wants a first on-hand experience with the marine world. This exclusive #PlayWell with Manta Rays offer includes an opportunity to swim with manta rays at Hanifaru Bay, a turtle snorkel trip, as well as two scuba diving sessions one in the house reef and one in open water.

About Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort

Designed by award-winning architects PEIA Association, the resort offers 70 villas, distinct eco-friendly Italian design, exceptional dining experiences and a transformative wellness offering. Built overwater, the Heavenly Spa by Westin enhances the sense of calm the water brings, the spa has range of treatments to leave guests re-energized and nourished in both mind and body. With a choice of four unique outlets, The Pearl, Island Kitchen, Hawker and Sunset Bar, guests can experience a delightful range of cuisines during their stay. There is also a state-of-the art WestinWorkout Fitness Studio with TRX functional training equipment great for pre-run workouts, suspension training and offers app based instructional videos by TRX Master Instructors. In addition, there all the facilities expected from a luxury escape including a multi-function recreation ground for tennis, basketball and volleyball. The island life of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort may appear slow for most city dwellers. It has, however, a special rhythm, that allows one to take a step back, immerse themselves with the Atolls natural wonders go back home with novel experiences.

About Westin Hotels Resorts

Westin Hotels Resorts, hospitalitys global leader in wellness for more than a decade, empowers guests to transcend the rigors of travel while on the road through the brands Six Pillars of Well-being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well. At more than 225 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, guests can experience wellness offerings that include the brands iconic and award-winning Heavenly Bed, TRX fitness equipment in the signature WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studios, delicious and nutritious menu offerings on their Eat Well menu, and more. Stay connected to Westin on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Westin is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit marriottbonvoy.com.