Soneva has been recognised for its eco-friendly initiatives.
In its 2020 Legend Awards, Departures magazine listed Soneva’s Namoona Baa initiative amongst “The Best Eco-Initiatives in Hospitality This Year”.
Namoona Baa sees the islands of Maalhos, Dharavandhoo, and Kihaadhoo in the Baa atoll pledging to end the open burning of island waste, in a radical shift towards eco-friendly waste management.
The pledge was made by the presidents of Maalhos, Dharavandhoo, and Kihaadhoo island councils, during a workshop on waste held at Soneva Fushi on January 5-8, 2019.
To end the practice of the open burning of waste, which poses a health and environmental hazard and damages tourism, each island will create an ‘eco-centro’ waste-to-wealth centre that will sort, recycle and reuse island waste.
The eco-centro model was pioneered at Soneva Fushi, which is located close to Maalhos. At the resort, food and organic waste, metals, and bottles are chipped, ground down or composted, and turned into things of economic value, such as concrete building blocks and fertiliser. Plastic waste is either recycled or used to create useful new objects.
Soneva has pledged funds from its Soneva Save our Seas programme to support the creation of the eco-centros on Maalhos, Dharavandhoo, and Kihaadhoo. During the January workshop, the island council presidents helped forge a new partnership amongst their islands, Soneva Fushi, and Common Seas, an international NGO dedicated to reducing marine plastic pollution.
The new partnership — part of the international Clean Blue Alliance which supports islands to prevent plastic waste leaking into the ocean — sets a course for Baa atoll, and eventually the Maldives, to become a global leader in halting ocean plastic pollution.
The Maalhos eco-centro waste-to-wealth centre – an innovative, waste processing complex modelled on Soneva Fushi’s Eco Centro — was inaugurated in February.
At the complex, the island’s waste is sorted into different categories such as plastic, glass, tin and wood; which is then compacted, crushed, and chipped where possible, and sent for recycling. The new eco-centro has enabled Maalhos to completely stop the open burning of rubbish and waste – making it the first inhabited island in the Maldives to do so.
Dealing with waste, particularly plastic, is a major issue for every island community in the Maldives. Plastic bottles and bags tend to litter streets, island jungle and beaches, while waste is routinely burned in toxic, open bonfires. Human health and guesthouse tourism suffer as a direct result of this practice.
Under the Namoona Baa Initiative, the Maalhos model will be expanded to neighbouring Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo, with eco-centro waste-to-wealth centres established on both islands later this year. With government support, it is hoped that the model can be rolled out across the Baa atoll, and eventually the whole of the Maldives.
In August 2019, Common Seas produced a preliminary report for the Maldivian government showing how the island nation could radically reduce the amount of single-use plastic it consumes, and reduce plastic pollution.
In September 2019, at his maiden address to the UN General Assembly, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced a nationwide phase-out of single-use plastics to be implemented by 2023, including phase-outs of single-use plastic bottles and bags. It is one of the most comprehensive phase-outs of single use plastics in the world.
Soneva currently runs two resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, and luxury yacht, Soneva in Aqua. The world-leading luxury resort operator also operates Soneva Kiri resort in Thailand.
In 1995, the award-winning luxury resort Soneva Fushi set the standard for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways in the Maldives. Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi pairs Robinson Crusoe fantasy with intelligent luxury.
Sixty-two private villas with their own stretch of beach are hidden amongst dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine coral reef. Eight new one- and two-bedroom Water Retreats, perched above the turquoise depths of the Indian Ocean, are scheduled to open to guests by May. Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers.
Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, counting Saturn’s rings in the high-tech Observatory, the home-made chocolate and ice cream rooms, five hundred wines to choose from, six different restaurants and countless destination dining options.
In November 2015, Soneva launched a floating villa concept, Soneva in Aqua, a treasure trove children’s Den and a multi-purpose facility encompasses a glass gallery, boutique and studio where guests can learn the art of glass blowing.
Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is Soneva’s newest property and the world-leading luxury hotel group’s second resort in the Maldives.
Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru within a 5.6 kilometre lagoon in the Noonu atoll, and has uninterrupted ocean views in all directions. The lagoon is 35 minutes by seaplane from Velana International Airport and one hour by speedboat from Soneva Fushi.
Meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani currently comprises 24 overwater villas and one island villa, with additional villas to be built in phase two. Five islands encircle the lagoon, each one with soft white sands and covered in rich tropical vegetation. Four of the five islands will remain untouched, making Soneva Jani the lowest density development in the Maldives. The overwater villas are spaced across the expansive lagoon, offering privacy and extensive views over the Maldives’ turquoise waters. The island villas will be tucked into the lush greenery, providing the ultimate privacy, and all within steps of the beach.
Soneva Jani’s main guest facilities are located at The Gathering, the heart of the overwater villas. This dramatic three story structure is home to the main dining outlets, in addition to the Soneva Spa, library, retail area and wine cellar. It is located next to the Maldives’ first overwater Observatory.
Facilities on the island include the overwater Cinema Paradiso, the Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre, organic gardens, tennis courts, water sports champa and Zuhair’s Beach on a desert island in the lagoon.
Departures magazine launched the Legend Awards last year.
The awards, selected by the Departures editorial team, span 24 categories, from Best Luxury Hotel Opening to Most Instagrammable Destination, covering every aspect of air, rail, and hotel travel experiences and amenities.
For the 2020 Legend Awards, editors curated the list of honourees based on experiences between May 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, awarding honours to at least 10 properties, products or services per category.
Bollywood actress Amyra Dastur escapes to Furaveri Maldives
Bollywood actress Amyra Dastur recently took a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai to enjoy a blissful holiday at the stunning Furaveri Maldives resort. The actress shared her Maldivian adventure with her fans through a series of captivating photos and videos on Instagram.
Dastur’s Instagram feed was transformed into a tropical paradise, showcasing her idyllic escape at the luxurious resort. One post featured the actress soaking up the sun in her Water Villa’s infinity pool, floating in a whimsical unicorn floaty. The caption perfectly captured the essence of her Maldivian escapade: “☀️🏝️🌊 @pickyourtrail @furaverimaldives ♥️ #waterbaby #maldives #mermaid #thalassophile #wanderlust #november #2023 #islandlife #travel #travelgram #foryou #beachbabe #beachlife #oceanview #oceanlover #instatravel #sealife”.
Another vibrant post depicted Dastur riding a jet ski across the crystal-clear waters, embracing the thrill of the open ocean. The caption aptly described the exhilarating experience: “The best kind of #mondayblues 🌊🏝️☀️♥️”.
Dastur also shared a mesmerizing video that showcased the breathtaking beauty of Furaveri Maldives, with its pristine beaches, lush greenery, and turquoise waters. The caption simply stated: “Sun, Sand and the Sea ☀️🌊🏝️”, perfectly summing up the idyllic Maldivian escape.
Rounding off her Maldivian sojourn, Dastur posted a series of captivating underwater photos, capturing the vibrant marine life that thrives beneath the turquoise waters. The caption declared: “My happy place 🌊”.
Dastur’s Maldivian adventure at Furaveri Maldives serves as a reminder of the importance of taking a break from the daily grind and immersing oneself in the beauty of nature. Her Instagram posts provide a glimpse into the tranquility and rejuvenation that await those who seek solace in the Maldives.
Amyra Dastur’s love affair with the Maldives is not a fleeting romance but a long-standing relationship. The Bollywood beauty has expressed her fondness for the Maldivian archipelago, considering it one of her favorite holiday destinations. This recent visit is just one in a series of trips. In May 2023, Amyra delighted in the Maldives once again, further solidifying her connection with the sunny side of life.
OUTRIGGER Maldives introduces exclusive private island retreat for discerning guests
OUTRIGGER Maldives Maafushivaru Resort has unveiled an unparalleled experience in barefoot luxury travel, allowing its esteemed guests to bask in the epitome of relaxation on their own secluded haven – the exquisite Lonubo private island.
Situated just 200 metres from OUTRIGGER Maldives Maafushivaru Resort, Lonubo boasts lush palm-covered landscapes and promises an exclusive retreat with unparalleled tranquility and privacy for an unforgettable experience.
“With a private island at their disposal, OUTRIGGER guests can elevate the castaway beach experience to unprecedented heights,” affirms the resort’s General Manager, John Allanson. “Our commitment to privacy and exclusivity, coupled with luxurious touches, ensures an experience beyond compare.”
Upon arrival at Lonubo via a private boat transfer, couples are welcomed to their own private paradise equipped with sun loungers, plush beanbags, sunshades, towels and light refreshments for a four-hour escape into unparalleled bliss.
For those seeking to elevate their experience, an optional gourmet picnic awaits, complete with a curated setup and a selection of delectable food and beverages tailored to their preferences. Romantic evenings can be further enhanced with a starlit barbecue beach dinner, featuring a private chef and waiter ensuring an indulgent barefoot wining and dining experience.
As the sun sets, guests can choose optional enhancements such as an open log fire, tantalising canapés paired with Taittinger Brut Reserve champagne and a private movie screening featuring the film of their choice.
For culinary connoisseurs, the resort’s chef recommends the ultimate surf and turf dinner – a lavish feast featuring a one-kilo Maldivian lobster and 500g of black Angus tenderloin steak, expertly grilled to perfection by the dedicated chef on Lonubo.
A detailed brochure outlining the exquisite Lonubo Island private experience is available for interested guests.
To make this dream-like experience a reality, OUTRIGGER Maldives Maafushivaru Resort is offering exclusive savings and value-added promotions until 4 December, 2023, as part of the resort’s CYBER Sale promotions.
Visit OUTRIGGER.com to seize this exceptional opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime escape.
Patina Maldives achieves EarthCheck Silver Certification for 2023
Patina Maldives continues to advance their commitment of purposeful travel with a hands-on, data-led approach resulting in the resort’s EarthCheck Silver Certification. This milestone highlights the resort’s commitment to environmentally conscious practices and business excellence that positively impacts people and place.
As we celebrate the EarthCheck Silver Certification for 2023, we reaffirm our resolute commitment to sustainable tourism and environmental stewardship, said Antonio Saponara, General Manager.
This accolade underscores our dedication to perpetuality, marking a pivotal step towards a more sustainable future for Patina Maldives, he added.
Key Sustainability Initiatives at Patina Maldives
To reduce import footprints, Patina Maldives houses an organic permaculture garden that cultivates fresh pesticide free produce, including watermelon, sweet melon, okra, eggplant, cucumber, capsicum and pumpkin. All food waste is turned into organic fertiliser through bio-digesters. Plant-based Roots, one of the resort’s signature restaurants, operates on the root-to -leaf principle to encourage guests to adopt a more conscious and conscientious lifestyle.
Advancements in Green Energy
Patina Maldives continues to spearhead green energy initiatives by investing in renewable sources. The resort plans to expand renewable panels in 2024 including more rooftop panels and a solar farm, with the objective of solar providing 50% of the resort’s energy needs.
Resort Build and Engineering
From its inception, the Fari Islands’ development has been guided by sustainable architecture and design. It is the largest hospitality project globally to benefit from the extensive use of offsite manufacturing technology known as ‘Mass Engineered Timber’ or ’MET’, which reduced carbon emissions by over 6,000 tons after production and transportation; in addition, all the villas were prefabricated, to ensure minimal run off into the marine ecosystem Departing from the conventional thatched roof structures prevalent in the Maldives, villas and amenities were designed with flat roofs, allowing solar panels to be easily mounted. This allows the Fari Islands to host one of the latest largest solar installations in the Maldives.
Ceramics – Innovative Coral Restoration
Through a pioneering collaboration with Kevala Ceramics in Bali, Indonesia, Patina Maldives initiated a groundbreaking coral restoration project. Ceramic plates, identified as ideal hosts for live coral fragments, promote reef growth.
Stewart Moore, CEO and Founder of EarthCheck, praised Patina Maldives for its significant leadership in sustainability, stating, “I would like to congratulate the entire team at Patina Maldives on their remarkable achievement. Patina Maldives is a valued member of a global group of tourism operators dedicated to making a positive difference.”
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