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Soneva looks back at 2019 sustainability achievements

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Soneva, the world-leading luxury resort operator with properties in the Maldives and Thailand, is celebrating the success of world-leading environmental projects spanning 25 years.

These have included subsidising low-carbon cook stoves, mangrove conservation, sea grass restoration and hosting international sustainability dialogues on fisheries and marine plastics.

The combined investment of close to $10 million has positively impacted over a million people, and saved over half a million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking over 100,000 cars off the road for a whole year.

Last year’s achievements

Soneva generated $553,000 in value across its resorts from the upcycling of waste through the Waste to Wealth initiative.

A total of 65,250 paper straws were used last year, which could have easily been plastic straws had Soneva not banned them in 2008.

Soneva sold 71,400 litres of water in reusable glass bottles, preventing the manufacture of 47,600 single-use plastic bottles.

A total of 900 kg of aluminium cans were compacted and sent for recycling, while 2,400 square metres of Styrofoam was repurposed and used in building Soneva’s villas.

At Soneva Fushi’s Eco Centro, 9,000 kg of charcoal (worth $14,400) was made. The Eco Centro also produced 20,000 kg of compost each month from daily waste food and organic matter.

Through Soneva’s Learn to Swim programme, 70 Maldivian school children learnt how to swim. Four lifeguards were also trained from Maldivian communities by Soneva host.

Around 30 litres of coconut oil were made (from approximately 675 coconuts) each month from the coconut trees at Soneva Fushi.

Each Soneva resort has its own Waste-to-Wealth facility, recycling 90 per cent of its waste through an innovative waste management strategy.

Food left over from the resorts’ restaurants is composted to make nutritious soil for the islands’ vegetable and herb gardens, all of which are organic and provide much of the produce used in the kitchens at each resort. Styrofoam packing is used to make lightweight construction blocks or as insulation within villa walls.

Soneva is aiming for 100 per cent of its waste to avoid ending up in landfills by 2030.

Currently, 12 per cent of Soneva’s total energy usage at the three resorts is from renewable sources. Soneva aims to increase this to 50 per cent, and by 2025 it aims to be using 100 per cent renewable energy.

Another aspect of the Waste to Wealth initiative is Soneva Fushi’s Art and Glass Studio, the only hot glass studio in the Maldives.

Here, approximately 1,200 used glass bottles from Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani, and neighbouring resorts in the Baa atoll are crushed and melted down each year to be upcycled. Then using techniques such as glass blowing, casting, and slumping, the Soneva glass team creates functional pieces as well as one of a kind glass sculptures, which can be bought from the Art and Glass Studio.

For an island nation like the Maldives, which relies on its natural scenery for tourism and with fish as the main food staple, waste is a massive problem. This is why Soneva started the Soneva Maker Programme at Soneva Fushi.

This programme sees Soneva join the grass-roots Precious Plastic global initiative to become the first company in the Maldives to recycle plastic into new products, using open-source machines made from locally available, low cost materials.

Soneva Water

Soneva banned imported bottled water in 2008. Instead, Soneva filters, mineralises, alkalises and bottles its water on-site.

Soneva has averted the production of 1,500,000 plastic bottles in the last 10 years by using reusable glass bottles.

A percentage of revenues from Soneva Water funds over 500 clean water projects in more than 50 countries. It provides clean water to over 750,000 via charities such as Water Charity and Thirst Aid.

Soneva Namoona

In 2019, Soneva launched Soneva Namoona, a partnership between three Maldivian islands (Maalhos, Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo), Soneva, marine plastic foundation Common Seas, and the Maldivian government to change the way the island nation manages waste.

In February, the island of Maalhos inaugurated its Eco Centro and water bottling plant; and marked the end of open burning on the island.

Under Soneva Namoona, Soneva Water provides drinking water to households and guesthouses on the local island of Maalhos in reusable glass bottles, reducing the need for single-use plastic water bottles on the island.

A new Soneva-sponsored Eco Centro ‘waste-to-wealth’ centre enables composting and recycling of waste on Maalhos.

This year, Soneva Namoona is being extended to the local islands of Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo.

Following meetings and workshops hosted by Soneva Fushi in 2019, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih made a pledge at the United Nations General Assembly for the country to become single-use plastic free by 2023.

Soneva Namoona will continue working with the national government to broaden this pioneering approach out to the whole of the Maldives.

Soneva Namoona centres around the three pillars of Reduce, Recycle, Inspire.

Reduce is a radical reduction in the volume of plastic arriving on the islands. Soneva assisted in the establishment of a water bottling plant on the island of Maalhos to desalinate and mineralise sea water, which is distributed in reusable glass bottles, eliminating the need for water bottled in plastic.

Recycling and responsible disposal of waste forms the second strand of the programme. Maalhos is the first island to open a Soneva-sponsored Eco Centro with machinery that will include a wood chipper and a glass crusher.

The third component is to Inspire a love of the ocean and the environment. The belief is that through water sports, education and festivities that children will lose their fear of the ocean and learn to love it, and thus protect it.

“If we work together, we are sure we can create the right environment for the Maldives to be the world’s most progressive country on single use plastic. If we project forwards just a few years, we can see that all islands will have thriving waste-to-wealth centres; there will be no plastic bags; no plastic straws; islands will have their own water bottling plants; no guesthouses or resorts will serve water in single use bottles,” Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Founder of Soneva, says.

Ongoing initiatives

At the start of the last decade, Soneva partnered with PATT Foundation in Thailand to plant over 500,000 trees covering 300 acres in the Chiang Mai region of northern Thailand.

The plantations, covering three main sites, use a Framework Species Methodology, with guidance from Forest Restoration Research Unit of Chiang Mai University.

Ninety species of trees were planted in 2011-12 and since then, seed-disbursing birds have increased the number of species further to create a rich biodiverse forest.

Over 40 years, the project will mitigate an estimated 255,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

Neighbouring Myanmar has one of the fastest rates of deforestation in the world with most of the wood used for domestic cooking. Pollution from indoor cooking on open fires leads to the premature deaths of over four million people a year, mostly women and children, which is more than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.

Soneva has subsidised the distribution of fuel-efficient cook stoves to around 150,000 people through the Myanmar Stoves Campaign. Each stove saves 2.5 tonnes of wood per year and reduces air pollution by 80 per cent, improving the health and safety of the whole community.

“At Soneva, we believe that luxury and sustainability don’t compete; they complement each other. I have always believed that businesses must be a positive force for change, so if you support businesses that create jobs in their communities and protect the environments in which they operate, this can be very beneficial,” Shivdasani says.

In 2016 Soneva hosted The Soneva Dialogue: Transformative Risks and Opportunities for the Global Seafood Industry.

The dialogue was the first in a series of Keystone Dialogues, in partnership with The Stockholm Resilience Centre and Forum for the Future.

The dialogue resulted in the establishment of Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS). The ambition is for scientists and the world’s largest seafood companies to join forces to lead a global transformation towards sustainable seafood production and a healthy ocean.

The initiative will actively contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular Goal 14 – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

Soneva’s top 25 community projects:

  1. Soneva Namoona
  2. Myanmar Stoves Campaign
  3. Darfur Stoves Project
  4. Soneva Forest Restoration
  5. Soneva Wind Turbine
  6. Soneva Clean Water Projects
  7. SLOW LIFE Symposium
  8. WHOLE WORLD Water
  9. Soneva Dialogue
  10. Soneva Ocean Stewards
  11. Soneva Eco Camps
  12. Care for Children
  13. Restaurants Against Hunger
  14. Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
  15. Coral Reef Restoration
  16. Soneva Junior Master Chef
  17. SHE Thalassaemia
  18. Soneva Medical Camp
  19. Care Development Center
  20. FINished with Fins
  21. Kudarikilu Waste Water Plant
  22. Dharavandhoo School Science Laboratory
  23. Bahiyya Pre School Reconstruction
  24. Green School Scholarship
  25. IUCN Mangrove Conservation project

For more details on Soneva’s sustainability initiatives and the Host Changemakers series, please visit sonevachangemakers.com.

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Discover ultimate privacy at Nika Maldives

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Imagine a place where the world fades away, leaving you with nothing but the gentle sound of waves and the soft touch of sand beneath your feet. A place where privacy is not just a promise, but a guarantee. Welcome to Nika island Resort & Spa, Maldives, the only resort that offers private beaches for an unparalleled experience of seclusion and tranquility.

At Nika, your very own private beach awaits. Picture yourself enjoying a personalised BBQ under the stars or designing your own destination dining experience, tailored to your every desire. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a family feast, the possibilities are endless.

John Miller, a recent guest at Nika, shares his unforgettable experience: “Staying at Nika’s private beach villa was the ultimate privacy I’ve ever experienced. Born in London, I’ve never known such seclusion in my entire life. The resort is lush with vegetation, and the fauna and flora are simply amazing. It’s a hidden gem in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The local stories and the museum displays are fascinating.”

But the allure of Nika doesn’t end there. The resort’s dive centre offers exceptional dive courses, taking you to spectacular dive sites that reveal the breathtaking underwater world. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, the wonders beneath the surface will leave you in awe.

After a day of exploration, indulge in the Lotus Spa at Nika. Offering a range of excellent massages, from traditional local techniques to various modern varieties, the spa promises to rejuvenate your body and soul.

Nika is a small resort, yet it is brimming with entertainment and activities. From water sports to cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone. It’s a sanctuary where you can ground yourself, reconnect with nature, and discover a level of privacy that is truly extraordinary.

Escape to Nika and hide away at your secret beach. Here, the ultimate privacy and relaxation await.

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Unwind and Explore: Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa Invites Families to a Rejuvenating Summer Escape

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Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa, an all-pool villa haven nestled amidst the breathtaking natural seascapes of the Indian Ocean, invites families to embrace the joy of relaxation and the spirit of adventure this summer with a slew of experiences designed to inspire playful discoveries and foster tranquil reconnections with the mind and body.

Fun for All Ages

Budding adventurers and creative little spirits alike can discover new adventures at Krakengiri Kids’ Club, one of the largest kids’ clubs in the Maldives. Led by a multilingual team of certified childcare professionals, young guests can engage in an exciting array of daily activities that combine learning and play.

Upstairs, Re:Fuel, a rooftop lounge for teens, hosts engaging milkshake-making workshops and fun family movie nights under the starry Maldivian sky.

In June, the resort offers a Holiday Camp for teens, who can personalize their wellness experiences as follows:

  • Pick up new sports such as tennis, pickleball, and badminton on the multi-purpose court with the hotel’s resident Sports Animator
  • Work out with a personal trainer at the fitness center
  • Try aerial yoga for beginners, yoga for better sleep, breathwork, and meditation with the resident yoga practitioner
  • Enjoy a restorative massage in the overwater treatment villas of Amingiri Spa.

The experience is available at USD 150++ per person for a combination of any two 30-minute sessions.

Restful Retreats

Amingiri Spa introduces Water Connect, a private in-villa pool experience guided by a certified water shiatsu specialist. The gentle movements and targeted massage techniques melt away tension and create a deeply relaxing sensation akin to being cocooned in the womb. The serene escape is available between 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at USD 150++ for 30 minutes.

Starting in June, guests can indulge in a brand-new Sleep Wellness menu designed to ease the mind and body into a state of deep and rejuvenating slumber. Guests can choose to unwind with a calming signature massage on the spa’s Skye Deck, bask in the timeless glow of an evening hammam ritual in the modern hammam room, or embrace tranquility with an in-villa session incorporating guided meditation, yoga, and breathwork.

Exclusive Offer

Guests who stay a minimum of four nights enjoy the added value of a half board meal plan and complimentary shared roundtrip speedboat transfers with Maldivian Bliss. This offer is available for stays through to December 20, 2024.

From May through to September 30, 2024, children stay and dine free: parents staying with two young children ages 11 years and below in an Overwater Suite with Pool and any of the Two-Bedroom Beach and Overwater Villas will also enjoy the half board meal plan and complimentary shared roundtrip speedboat transfers when booking Maldivian Bliss. Hilton Honors members enjoy full points for their stay. Terms and conditions apply.

Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 22 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly on the hotel’s website will have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors app.

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Maldives Madridistas: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands Nets Exclusive Football Camp Partnership with the Real Madrid Foundation

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Younger guests at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands can embrace new patterns of play this summer at an exclusive, Maldives-first Real Madrid Foundation football camp. From 4 July – 12 August, a youth coach will lead a comprehensive Real Madrid Foundation programme of daily soccer sessions for ages 5-9yrs, 10-14yrs, and 15-17yrs. The coach will be joined by an elite player ambassador from UEFA’s all-time no. 1 ranked football club toward the end of the programme.

This summer’s inaugural Patina Maldives x Real Madrid CF Foundation football camp is the first edition in an ongoing partnership, with additional future football camp dates to be confirmed. Led by a licensed Real Madrid Foundation coach, sessions will focus on developing each participant both individually and as part of the group, in order to ‘Play The Real Way’ – the training methodology that combines play, as well as sports values.

Sessions will take place on a new, purpose-built 6 a side astroturf pitch located near the Fari Marina Village at Patina Maldives.

All participants will receive an official camp football camp shirt, shorts, socks, drawstring bag, sweatbands, and cap; while those completing a minimum of four days’ coaching will also be presented with a Real Madrid Foundation participation certificate.

Real Madrid Foundation football clinics at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands are priced at USD195++ per child per session for guests of the resort. Bookings are also open to guests from neighbouring resorts, from USD250++ per child per session.

Rates at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands start from USD2,054 (approx. GBP1,620) per night based on two adults sharing a One Bedroom Pool Villa including daily breakfast, complimentary Guest Benefits, tax, and service. Terms and conditions apply.

For more information and reservations, please visit https://patinahotels.com/maldives or contact reservations.maldives@patinahotels.com. For more information on Pathways, please see here.

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