With new Marine Biology Shack, Gili Lankanfushi takes sustainability to new heights
Gili Lankanfushi has opened its new Marine Biology Shack, Gili Veshi, taking its already strong sustainability efforts to new heights.
Gili Veshi, which translated from the local Dhivehi language means Gili’s Environment, opened its doors on World Oceans Day, which was celebrated on June 8. The Shack has become the island’s primary marine research facility and the central hub for all sustainability and conservation issues, as well as offering a host of new guest experiences.
Nature lovers will have the opportunity to get involved through participating in monthly reef clean efforts to remove oceanic litter, coral watch dives to check on new specimens and Crown of Thorns eradication dives to remove the invasive starfish species. Guests can also opt to sponsor the team’s research and conservation efforts, or offset their carbon footprint by planting carbon-sinking seagrass.
The island’s young guests can enjoy a wide variety of exciting new experiences and activities tailor-made for children. New educational treasure hunts throughout the island, both on dry land and beneath the waves, will see children seeking out clues about the island’s environment, accompanied by the marine biology team. Fascinating marine movies and interactive iPad games will educate children about sustainability and the marine environment, whilst a roster of rainy day activities will keep children happy when the clouds — however rare — roll in.
The Gili Veshi team will monitor all aspects of the island’s reef biodiversity, including sea surface temperature and coral growth, to protect the fragile coral reef environment. They will also roll out a number of conservation initiatives, including planting seagrass to create new feeding grounds for endangered turtle species.
The new marine biology shack will also include a large wet lab to support the team’s ongoing research efforts, and will host visiting researchers and academics from across the globe. Guests will be invited to visit the lab to learn more about the local marine and terrestrial environment, with high tech new microscopes available to allow guests to study local coral specimens through a lens.
Working with the Maldivian government and NGOs including the Manta Trust, the Olive Ridley Turtle Project and Shark Watch, the Gili Veshi team will continually monitor the marine ecosystem and threats to biodiversity including coral bleaching and the onslaught of invasive Crown of Thorn starfish.
Opening of Gili Veshi furthers the resort’s commitment to sustainable tourism.
In a statement, Gili Lankanfushi said Gili Veshi is an educational centre open to hosts, guests, local communities and local schools so they can learn more about their environment and how to better protect it. One area of focus within the shack is the Sustainability Shelf which guides viewers along the processes used to keep its food and waste systems sustainable, it added.
“It features one member of our Green Team who has made it his mission to turn our kitchen and garden into a centre for sustainability,” the statement read.
The featured member is the resort’s Executive Chef John Bakker, who has been working on developing and expanding its Organic Garden since his arrival on the island in 2012.
According to the resort, from humble beginnings as a cluttered ornamental herb garden, the chef has built a team of traditional method farmers from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to help bring historical practices and authenticity to the production. Through the hard work of the first two years the garden has grown to its present size with 105 individual beds growing a consistent supply of the island’s lettuces and soft herbs for guests and staff alike, it said.
Chef John comes from generations of Dutch Canadian farmers who lived within a larger community of agriculturists. He was influenced by the farming and market garden lifestyle of Southwestern Ontario in the 80’s being encouraged to respect those that work with and live off the land. As he rose through the ranks at international culinary destinations he continued to incorporate the freshest ingredients into his work, often from the classical kitchen gardens of Europe.
“Today, Chef John is the leading edge of the Gili Lankanfushi home grown, sustainable and organic culinary concept, environment and waste management,” the statement read.
To ensure steady growth of the garden, the team initially began using a time tested method of composting organic waste by burying plies of garden waste under the normal garden topsoil to return some of the captured carbon and nutrition to the beds. Although this was an effective method, it was time consuming and inefficient and only allowed then to utilise a small portion of the total waste available.
In an effort to find a more efficient and sustainable solution, Chef John happened upon a contact with British waste management company Tidy Planet. Through a consultation with them and following an extensive waste audit, Gili Lankanfushi decided to purchase the Maldives’ first and only Mechanical Biological Composter aka The Rocket. Basically a large self-contained composting chamber, The Rocket allows Gili Lankanfushi to process and compost 100 percent of the organic waste produced in all the kitchens and return it to the garden a fertile organic compost.
“Since The Rocket has been in service for a year, Chef John has also started a barrel composting system for jungle/island waste as well as a very exciting new project called Vermiculture or worm composting,” the statement read.
Gili Lankanfushi said that its waste management system starts in the kitchens by aggressively separating all kitchen waste into specific bins for wet and dry waste. The collected food waste is processed through a dewatering machine which reduces the total volume of waste by chopping it into small pieces and extracting any excess moisture, water or juice — the food that powers The Rocket and what eventually becomes the compost.
To create compost, the dried food waste is mixed together with some chopped jungle waste (mulch) and added to The Rocket composter, which revolves eight times every two hours slowly developing the heat and bacterial activity required for decomposition. After 18 days of mechanical processing the active material falls from the hopper and is collected by the gardeners. This active compost is placed into a holding bed to mature for a minimum one month by which time it is ready to be used throughout the garden as organic fertiliser.
According to Gili Lankanfushi, the development and production of the organic garden has allowed it to tailor its food offering throughout the resort and given an opportunity to choose the freshest as well as the most sustainable options when developing the menus. This concept is not more readily apparent then within the lunch salad bar concept in the overwater bar, which utilises 15 different types of organically grown salads and herbs daily, it said.
“Gili Lankanfushi is committed to continuing the sustainable ecological philosophy throughout the resort. We are so proud of our new Marine Biology Shack that will continue to teach others about the developing suitability process coming out of Chef Johns Kitchen and Garden,” the statement read.
Set on the private island of Lankanfushi in the North Male Atoll, Gili Lankanfushi Maldives is an intimate coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the water out to spacious villa accommodations, where ultimate privacy can be found. This luxury resort is just a 20-minute speedboat ride from the main Velana International Airport.
At Gili Lankanfushi, an idyllic personal hideaway is one of 45 spacious, rustic overwater villas crafted from natural wood and glass. A palette of sparkling blues paints the horizon, the ocean stretching to infinity wherever on the island. The open design, with indoor and outdoor living space, allows guests the freedom to be themselves, the sound of the sea and warm breeze soothing all senses.
ELE | NA launches OceanFlow Therapy to honour World Ocean Day
ELE | NA has unveiled OceanFlow therapy, a remarkable and awe-inspiring inward expedition that submerges individuals in the comforting embrace of ocean water. On the occasion of World Ocean Day, an invitation was extended to guests, urging them to embark on a life-altering encounter designed to nurture their mind, body, and soul. Exclusively available at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI and OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, this pioneering therapy presents a captivating and unmatched chance to rediscover oneself, all the while enveloped in the serene cadence of the ocean’s gentle waves.
OceanFlow therapy is a captivating fusion of various therapeutic modalities, including Watsu, Water Dance, Ayurveda, Shiatsu, Craniosacral, Manual Therapy, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy, and Trigger Point Therapy. These carefully curated elements enhance the holistic Aquatic Bodywork, bringing forth refined techniques and unlocking its full therapeutic potential.
One of the remarkable benefits of OceanFlow therapy is the high magnesium content found in saltwater. As our guests immerse themselves in the ocean or simply bask in its proximity, their muscles and nerves are regulated, blood sugar levels are moderated, and sleep quality is improved. The result is a profound sense of rejuvenation, complemented by the soothing rhythm of the waves, which harmonize their circadian rhythm.
“Vitamin Sea” is not just a playful ocean pun; it highlights the essential role of saltwater as a nutrient for our body’s largest organ – our skin! Abundant in minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium, saltwater boasts remarkable healing properties. It aids in reducing inflammation, safeguarding the skin, and promoting the healing of scrapes, cuts, and sores. Furthermore, saltwater enhances the flow of lymph fluid, potentially reducing the appearance of cellulite.
OceanFlow therapy is particularly effective in addressing a wide range of conditions, including stress symptoms, limited mobility, arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, chronic ailments, headaches, migraines, insomnia, post-operative rehabilitation, accidents, trauma, fear of water, and even during pregnancy. Each session, lasting for one hour, provides a dedicated space for healing and rejuvenation, followed by a further 45 minutes for quiet integration.
The therapeutic benefits of OceanFlow extend to pain management, sleep management, and stress management. By immersing themselves in this holistic approach, our guests can alleviate physical discomfort, improve their sleep patterns, and effectively manage stress levels. OceanFlow therapy facilitates a profound connection with our guests’ inner self while harnessing the therapeutic potential of saltwater and gentle manipulation.
ELE | NA is an acronym for Elements of Nature, which refers to the five elemental forces of nature – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, helps in healing as these energies flow all around and within every individual.
Offering bespoke wellness journeys under the “Wellness Your Way” program, itineraries are designed specifically for the guests’ individual needs, highlighting holistic treatments, alternative health therapies, and gourmet plant-based cuisine throughout the all-inclusive
At ELE | NA, guests embark on a holistic journey of wellness, healing, and relaxation,
feeling rejuvenated and refreshed as a result of life-changing experiences, where local
healing traditions are combined with international beauty and spa treatments to provide a
Kandooma’s sustainability efforts recognised at annual ‘Journey to Tomorrow’ Impact Awards
Mark Eletr, General Manager of Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, has been recognised for efforts in sustainability at the annual InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Impact Awards, Southeast Asia & Korea.
One of just 14 accolades presented on the night, Mark and his team were recognised in front of their colleagues and peers at a glittering awards ceremony held at the InterContinental Landmark, Hanoi, in Vietnam.
On collecting the award on stage, a thrilled Mark Eletr said,
“To receive an award amongst all of you in this forum, with talented people doing great things it’s an honour. It’s a reward for the whole team, for their creativity and all these great ideas they come up with. And also for our owners who support what we want to do in this very important regard. We operate, particularly in the Maldives, in a very unique and fragile environment, and I’d like to say that as a nation, we are getting it right, but there is a long road ahead, and with what we are doing, hopefully, that sets the standard and encourages others to follow.”
Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives works across many different areas in the sustainability space, from providing filtered water in reusable glass bottles to the sandbar and island clean-ups and investing in solar energy. The resort is also an eager participant in studies to measure the effectiveness of alternative renewable energy sources such as waves. Reef regeneration projects, creating an island farm and working with the natural island environment to create regenerative spaces all contribute positively to the resort’s overall goals.
“Coinciding with World Environment Day, this accolade encourages us to continue to grow in this space and to search out collaborations with organisations such as our recently announced and formalised partnership with Parley Maldives.”
“We measure most of our activities; I think this act helps drive us harder towards our goals. We share the information in an easy-to-understand format with our guests to amplify the message wider, touching and shaping opinions of guests experiencing the Maldives,” says Mark.
Two years ago (February 2021), IHG Hotels & Resorts launched ‘Journey to Tomorrow’, a series of ambitious new commitments to make a positive difference for people, communities and the planet over the next decade. Guided by IHG’s purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good, hotels and resorts work with those who stay, work and partner with them to help shape the future of responsible travel.
Journey to Tomorrow sets out five clear ambitions, building on the progress and achievements made against IHG’s 2018-2020 targets:
- Champion a diverse culture where everyone can thrive – with 400,000 colleagues worldwide, we can create a future where all experience equality, inclusion and fairness.
- Improve the lives of 30 million people in our communities around the planet – with hotels spanning 100 countries; we’re proud to be at the heart of our communities and recognise how our global reach presents opportunities to shape a positive future.
- Reduce our energy use and carbon emissions in line with climate science – we know the hotel sector accounts for 1% of global carbon emissions, and we’ve set science-based targets to maximise the use of renewable energy, reduce emissions of existing hotels and to target new builds to operate at very low or zero emissions by 2030.
- Pioneer, the transformation to a minimal waste hospitality industry – with only 9% of plastic currently being recycled and around one-third of food produced being wasted across the globe, we’re passionate about providing our guests with a more sustainable stay. We’ll also form partnerships to create circular solutions for major hotel items that work for the greater good.
- Conserve water and help secure water access in those areas at greatest risk – demand for water often exceeds supply in many parts of the world, with the UN predicting an increase of 20-30% by 2050. So, it’s never been more critical for us to find ways to reduce our usage and work with others towards sustainable solutions that create water access for all.
Each of the ambitions and commitments in IHG’s Journey to Tomorrow plan is rooted in understanding what is most important to colleagues, guests, hotel owners and investors when it comes to operating thoughtfully and growing sustainably. Our plan also contributes to the universal framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to provide a blueprint for a better, more sustainable future for us all by 2030.
Located in the South Male atoll just 40 mins from the airport by boat, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is a beautiful island paradise. White sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and turquoise waters form the backdrop for various leisure pursuits and some of the best diving in the Maldives. Guests can choose from Garden and Beach Villas, two-storey Beach Houses and the popular Overwater Villas for their stay. Families are well catered for with a choice of 2- and 3-bed villas and the Kandoo Kids’ Club and its full activities programme. Six food and beverage outlets ensure healthy appetites are satisfied and the flavours of the Maldives are explored. For guests who desire the ultimate in relaxation, sun loungers and hammocks are located around the island. The Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala offers the ultimate tranquillity and escape for body and mind. Visit www.maldives.holidayinnresorts.com
“Each and every one of us has a part to play. Working collaboratively to find new sustainable solutions, sharing ideas with colleagues, friends and guests, and supporting our local communities, I believe together we can shape the future of responsible travel.” said Mark Eletr, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives.
Kuramathi spa offers complimentary yoga sessions: Find serenity, inner balance
Kuramathi Spa has announced the introduction of complimentary yoga sessions, designed to help guests find serenity and inner balance amidst the tranquil beauty of the island paradise. Since 1st of May, guests have embarked on a journey of self-discovery and wellness through a series of rejuvenating yoga classes held at the breathtaking Yoga platform, Monday to Saturday.
At Kuramathi Spa, the team believes in the transformative power of yoga to harmonise the mind, body, and spirit. An expert yoga instructor will guide guests through a variety of yoga practices, each tailored to cater to different needs and levels of experience. From the serene practice of meditation to the invigorating discipline of Power Yoga, there is something for everyone.
The Complimentary Yoga Schedule is as follows:
- Monday: Basic Yoga – Ideal for beginners, this session focuses on building a strong foundation in yoga postures and breathing techniques.
- Tuesday: Pranayam – Explore the ancient art of controlled breathing techniques in this session, enhancing vitality and increasing mental clarity.
- Wednesday: Suryanamaskar – Start the day with a series of sun salutations, a dynamic yoga practice that energizes the body and awakens the senses.
- Thursday: Meditation – Experience the profound benefits of mindfulness and introspection through guided meditation.
- Friday: Power Yoga – Ignite your inner strength with this energetic and challenging yoga practice.
- Saturday: Asthang Yoga – Delve into the traditional practice of Asthang Yoga, which combines flowing movements, breath control, and meditation.
In addition, Kuramathi Spa offers the availability of private yoga sessions at an additional charge. This allows guests to enjoy personalised attention and guidance during their yoga practice. Whether you prefer a one-on-one session or wish to share the experience with a small group, the option of private yoga ensures that your specific needs and preferences are met.
Complimentary yoga sessions are held from 0600hrs to 0700hrs, providing the perfect opportunity to embrace the tranquility of the morning and start the day on a positive note. Whether you are a seasoned yogi or a beginner seeking to embark on a wellness journey, Kuramathi Spa invites you to participate and discover the profound benefits of yoga.
Insiders2 days ago
Nafiu Ahmed on striving for excellence at Le Méridien Maldives Resort
Featured3 days ago
Atmosphere Core completes grand tour of 7 resorts for Culture Reignite
Lifestyle2 days ago
Bollywood actress Sunny Leone enjoys holiday in Maldives at Brennia Kottefaru
Featured2 days ago
Kandooma’s sustainability efforts recognised at annual ‘Journey to Tomorrow’ Impact Awards
News2 days ago
Fairmont Maldives celebrates multiple accolades in Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2023
Food2 days ago
Review: Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort’s Carbon-Free Menu
Featured4 days ago
Villa Nautica, Villa Park take accolades at Travel+Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2023
Business3 days ago
TTM Travel Summit 2023 unveils exciting new concept with interactive, engaging workshops