Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon, located in the North Ari Atoll is an iconic resort belonging to the Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts chain, and a prime diving destination in the world.
Getting up close and personal with Marlon Robert, hotel manager at Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon by day, and an avid diver by night, shares his experience with the underwater world and his passion as a true explorer.
Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon is renowned as one of the best spots for divers in the world, making diving there all the more alluring. As Marlon explains, it is because the resort is built on a coral bed with a diameter of almost a thousand meters and thirty meters in depth. This, unlike hotels built on sandbanks, gives the divers an unparalleled experience that leaves them mesmerized. “Our guests are speechless after witnessing the beautiful colours and active sea life” Marlon comments. “They are amazed by the diversity that they have only witnessed here at our island.”
Marlon’s story is gripping. “It’s all about the adventure that you will come across; you will be in an entirely different world with colours and creatures from known to the unimaginable”. During night dives, it is common to be acquainted with unfamiliar creatures that are bigger, smaller and even microscopic. Encounters with Eagle Rays, Sting Rays, Nurse Sharks, Gray Reef Sharks and Moray Eel are truly magical experiences. “It is the peacefulness, night diving that takes me into a different reality for just an hour as it is a crucial getaway, it’s an amazing feeling and there’s little that can compare.”
There is a vast difference between night diving and day diving. “During the night, the light of the torch enhances the colours of corals that sunlight just doesn’t allow. The colours are vivid, vibrant and give a new perspective to underwater life,” Marlon explains. “With the ideal location of the hotel and the larger fish choosing to hunt in the night, we can see more sea-creatures at night as they have a lot more movement..” he continues. In the darkness, creatures such as the octopus are seen in their natural colours and they are breathtaking. Lobsters in caves come out searching for their daily prey in the night and they too have amazing colours under the light of a torch. While famous aquatic stars, such as turtles and sharks are guaranteed to be seen, you may also see the odd stingray or a moray eel on a lazy swim across the calm underwater.”
“Our hotel guests get to curate their personalized diving experience. They can start by exploring the reef and afterwards go for a night dive. We offer the first trial dive, at no charge. If the guest requires it, we train them to dive on the reef and let them get comfortable. You do not have to be an expert diver or swimmer to be able to enjoy the experience” says Marlon regarding the process of diving at Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon.
“Diving was never a part of my plan. One day, I dived with one of the dive-masters and fell in love with it” reminisces, Marlon. He now holds an advanced certificate in diving and has been a part of the Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon team for the past 20 years.
Preserving the ‘Life on Land’ and ‘Life below Water’ are key areas that are of vital importance in all operations at Elladhoo Maldives by Cinnamon. The resort has reduced its plastic consumption and wastage by using refillable water bottles, reusable bags and straws along with frequent beach clean-ups to conserve the underwater environment surrounding the resort. The resort has also generated 191, 563 KWh of solar energy and reduced carbon dioxide emission by 153, 250 Kg in 2020/21.
Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon is a true diver’s paradise that not only offers exhilarating underwater experiences but also thrives to safeguard life amidst it.
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