Forming part of the coveted Fari Islands’ lifestyle concept, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands has been championing environmental education since its opening in 2021. A destination that’s fast become an iconic addition to the Indian Ocean, is also home to a hub of innovation when it comes to environmental conservation. The resort steps lightly in to 2024 celebrating its continued dedication to the protection of our natural world.
‘Eye in the Sky’ Drone Technology
Spearheaded by resort naturalists and a progressive research community, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands’ sophisticated ocean plastics’ monitoring program works to conserve one of the world’s most fragile ecosystems with the use of drones. In partnership with British PhD researcher Melissa Schiele, drone technology has been developed and deployed in and around the atoll to better understand the location and movement of ocean plastics, including discarded fishing nets (ghost nets). With immediate impact resort teams are able to locate and remove otherwise hard to find debris identified by drones.
In 2023 the resort’s naturalist team and dive network removed 19 ghost nets with an estimated weight of 1100kg. These ghost nets travel in to the east Indian Ocean via strong ocean winds and currents experienced in the region from mid-December. In 2023, the resort successfully rescued five olive ridley sea turtles found entangled in abandoned nets. Two turtles were released immediately, with three rehabilitated by the Olive Ridley Project’s veterinary team at the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre in Baa Atoll, before a successful reintroduction to the ocean. A rehabilitated turtle named ‘Muraka’, released on the 16th of August 2023, was fitted with a GPS tracking device to allow guests and followers to trace her journey.
Since opening, the resort has achieved 751 drone flights aiding critical research in to plastic aggregation, location of ghost nets and ongoing monitoring of wildlife. In a first-of-its-kind image collection and data processing project, impressive data from the drone initiative was drawn for collaborative use to inform, educate and drive positive change long-term. Over 21 ocean species were observed in 2023, from the Ornate Eagle Ray, Black Tip Reef Shark to Melon-Headed Whale.*
Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment program
Home to the Maldives’ first Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment program, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands continues to collaborate with the world-renowned oceanographic explorer and environmentalist to provide guest experiences with preservation of the planet at its core. In 2023 the program planted 40 coral frames as part of its coral regeneration initiative, using coral frags from the Pocillapora (Cauliflower corals) and the Acropora (Table coral). 25 of these abundant nursery frames, and successful new habitats for ocean life, can be seen by guests in the shallow waters of the resort’s welcome jetty on arrival.
The resort will welcome Jean-Michel Cousteau in 2024 from the 8th to 18th April. An inspired educational residency will include exclusive guest experiences and Q&As with the legendary explorer.
As part of its Community Footprints’ programming, and with focus on environmental awareness for the planet’s future generations, the resort’s relationships with local schools enable visits with its naturalist teams to share research and educate. In 2023 five educational excursions to local islands took place including schools in Dhiffushi and Gaafaru. The visits took a deep dive in to ocean conservation, from the environmental impact of ocean plastics, insights from the resort community’s drone research and shared observations of wildlife in the surrounding atoll. Presentations of ground-breaking research from the resort’s ‘Visiting Heroes’ programme included the work of renowned shark scientist Gibbs Kuguru and his conservation work tagging Blacktip Reef Sharks.
Closer to home, the resort was proud to engage in ten global environmental dates. Educational and inspired activities worked to raise awareness surrounding key calendar dates including; World Shark Day, World Dolphin Day, Ocean Clean Up Day, and Earth Day. A continuation of its Community Footprints programming, 11 beach clean-ups invited guests to support ocean debris collection on resort shores and the local islands of Dhiffushi and Gaafaru.
Creating a Sustainable Environment for the Future
The resort continues to grow its commitment to sustainable practices in its day-to-day operations, from increasing its production of renewable energy via its solar power infrastructure, purification of still and sparkling drinking water at its dedicated plant, treating greywater for landscaping, and a robust composting programme for daily food waste.
With a considered approach to luxury living, guests can expect to use reusable glass water bottles, bamboo-based personal consumables, refillable jars of amenities, and bamboo and stainless-steel straws. Organic Bamford amenities, with shared sensibilities of living consciously and in harmony with nature, are replenished on-site, while the resort’s desalination plant reduces the amount of plastic imported into the country.
Baros Maldives: The Perfect Setting for a Joyful Easter in the Maldives
Baros is a treasure nestled in the Indian Ocean, just waiting to be discovered. This Easter, uncover the myriad of delights on offer for guests celebrating the holiday on our pristine island shores.
From sunrise dolphin cruises to underwater marvels, serene spa journeys and delicious culinary sensations, every moment on Baros is a magical surprise. From 29th March to 4th April 2024, the Baros team has curated a special program of Easter celebration. Choose from a wide range of specially crafted experiences and curate your very own Easter escape of a lifetime.
Baros delights the senses. There is something for everyone to enjoy, from snorkelling, diving and exciting excursions to unparalleled destination dining experiences and sensational spa moments.
Guests are invited to harvest fresh and exotic ingredients from Baros’s Chef’s Garden for a unique meal preparation under the expert guidance of our award-winning chefs. Alternatively, they can immerse themselves in the allure of a specially curated menu, set by the seashore under a tapestry of stars. Every dish is a culinary masterpiece, creating unforgettable moments.
For adventure on the high seas, guests can spend the day exploring five traditional fishing methods across multiple stunning locations on a fishing extravaganza. Or set sail on Baros’s luxury yacht, Serenity for a sunrise frolic with playful dolphins.
At Baros, guests are welcomed to immerse themselves in the vibrant tapestry of Maldivian culture as local traditions come alive. Delve into the rich history and customs of our island sanctuary as you tantalise your senses with local delicacies, participate in interactive experiences and listen to captivating narratives from a local historian.
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands Welcomes New Executive Chef Leonardo Valls
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is thrilled to welcome its new Executive Chef, Leonardo Valls. Bringing 20+ years of international experience and an eye for gastronomic innovation, Valls is set to elevate the resort’s culinary experiences with his creativity and craftsmanship.
Valls’ journey in the kitchen started in his native Chile, where he joined chef Tomás Olivera in 2003 at The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago, the brand’s first property in South America. During his five years there, Valls helped Olivera and the hotel’s Adra restaurant earn numerous accolades and awards, laying the groundwork for his next adventure.
In 2008, Valls crossed the globe to join another Ritz-Carlton property, the Hotel Arts Barcelona, where he spent more than a decade as part of a highly celebrated team, led by acclaimed chef Paco Pérez. During his tenure, he helped the hotel’s Enoteca restaurant earn its first and second Michelin stars (2010 and 2013) and was named Executive Sous Chef of the hotel’s culinary division in 2016, overseeing operations for five restaurants, a central kitchen, and major international events including the Mobile World Congress.
In early 2020, Valls was set to make another international move, this time as Executive Sous Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Naples in Florida, but the pandemic led to a change in plans, prompting his return to Santiago. In 2021, opportunity knocked again with the entry of the legendary brand into the Maldives and Valls joined The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands as Executive Sous Chef.
After a year at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, Valls found his homeland calling once again. Armed with vast knowledge of the luxury culinary concept, he took his expertise to the AC Hotel by Marriott Santiago Costanera Center where, as Executive Chef, he infused his style with Spanish and other European influences.
Renato De Oliveira, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands comments, “We’re thrilled to have Valls back in the Maldives, this time as our Executive Chef. His appointment is the start of a new chapter in an already illustrious career and an opportunity for guests to experience the world through Valls’ unique culinary perspective.”
Sun Siyam Resorts Boosts PR & Communications Team with Appointment of Erika Magora for Sun Siyam Iru Veli & Sun Siyam Vilu Reef
Sun Siyam Resorts has announced a dynamic addition to its PR and Communications team with the appointment of Erika Magora as Cluster Assistant PR & Communications Manager for Sun Siyam Iru Veli and Sun Siyam Vilu Reef. With an impressive background in law from the UK, coupled with a diverse upbringing in the Philippines and Malaysia, Erika brings a unique blend of skills and experiences to our renowned luxury resorts.
Prior to joining Sun Siyam Resorts, Erika served as the key figure in managing Marketing Communications at the prestigious 5-star luxury resort, The Datai Langkawi in Malaysia. Her collaboration with international media, partners, and agencies has significantly contributed to the resort’s global presence. She has worked with top journalists, production crews and PR partners from the UK, Europe, Australia, America and Asian regions. Erika also has experience in sales and marketing when she played a pivotal role in the Asia Pacific region’s sales and marketing for Foodpanda, a leading delivery brand in Asia.
“I cherish the cultural diversity and distinctions of both properties that I work for. Sun Siyam Iru Veli fascinates me as it revels in its private luxury tranquility, attracting a premium market. In Sun Siyam Vilu Reef, the naturally playful environment and genuine warmth of the people that create an inviting haven for repeater guests, captivate me. Both are beautiful, each in its unique way. Embracing diverse media and markets adds excitement to my work. The pristine beach and sea in both places energize me, fueling my passion for what I do.” expressed, Erika.
Claudia Klingbeil, Group Director of PR & Communications at Sun Siyam Resorts said: “Erika’s appointment underscores our dedication to assembling a team of talented individuals who not only possess exceptional professional capabilities but also embody the diverse cultural tapestry that defines our global clientele. We are confident that Erika’s passion for communication, coupled with her international perspective, will elevate our PR and Communications efforts to new heights of success.”
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