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Soneva makes strides with solar energy

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Soneva, the award-winning sustainable luxury resort operator, is making significant strides in its commitment to renewable energy, with a focus on solar energy in the Maldives. For 2024, both Soneva Fushi in the Baa Atoll and Soneva Jani in the Noonu Atoll have targeted close to 50 percent of their energy needs to be generated from photovoltaic (PV) sources, thanks to the addition of new PV installations. Previously, the PV system at Soneva Fushi had supplied around 12 percent of the resort’s energy load.

Soneva has been able to expand its development of solar power based on the USD 10 million funding provided by German-headquartered Aareal Bank in December 2022. This has seen Soneva Fushi’s solar installations total 2.55MWp (megawatt peak) of power and 2.7 MWh (megawatt hours) of battery capacity, while at Soneva Jani, the installations total 2.75 MWp of power and 2.0MWh of battery capacity.

Pioneering sustainability in the luxury hospitality industry since 1995, Soneva is leading the hospitality sector’s transition towards a zero-carbon future, with aims to achieve fully carbon-free operations across its Maldives resorts.

“Our investment in solar energy demonstrates our commitment to sustainability at the same time as contributing positively to our bottom line,” says Bruce Bromley, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO at Soneva. “Embracing solar power on such a significant scale has substantially reduced our carbon footprint and demonstrates what is possible in the hospitality industry. The invaluable support from Aareal Bank has paved the way for integrating our energy systems with other renewable technologies, propelling us closer to our goal of achieving fossil fuel-free operations.”

To better harness the full potential of solar energy, Soneva is already exploring the potential of installing floating solar panels in the ocean surrounding its island resorts, in addition to new land-based locations. For example, the new Soneva Secret 2024 resort, located in the Maldives’ remote Haa Dhaalu Atoll, is implementing floating solar panels, which are projected to cover nearly 90 percent of the resort’s energy load. The resort also features an integrated ice storage system for air conditioning, setting a new standard for a higher penetration of renewable energy.

Soneva is also further expanding its existing sustainability strategies, such as rainwater harvesting and load shifting, to maximise the utilisation of renewables, while assessing alternative storage technologies to further enhance energy usage. These include flow batteries that offer longer lifespans and the capacity to store substantial amounts of energy, and thermal storage to sustain and regulate renewable heat.

“The financial sector plays a decisive role in the transition of the property sector toward a carbon-free future. At Aareal Bank, we are embracing this responsibility. It gives us great satisfaction to witness our joint efforts bearing fruits and contributing to sustainable development on multiple fronts,” states Thomas Adaemmer, Managing Director and Head of Asia-Pacific at Aareal Bank.

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The Nautilus Maldives’ Retreat named among Maldives’ most extraordinary villas

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The Nautilus Retreat at The Nautilus Maldives has earned a prestigious spot among the most outrageous villas in the Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2024, as voted by readers. These awards spotlight the best in luxury travel, particularly celebrating top-tier travel experiences in the Asia Pacific region.

This 542 sqm, two-bedroom private pool residence, The Nautilus Retreat, is designed as a sanctuary for family reconnection. It embodies a refined bohemian lifestyle and serves as a true retreat destination. Perched on stilts over the lagoon with extraordinary sunset views, The Nautilus Retreat features a wide, curved, and expansive sundeck with a sleek infinity pool, offering guests the quintessential Maldivian dream. The two bedrooms extend from the central living and dining rooms, each boasting brilliant sea view, custom finishing, and en-suite bathroom.

The Nautilus offers 26 beach and ocean houses and residences, ranging from 300 sqm to nearly 1000 sqm, catering to the most elusive desire of its affluent guests: total privacy, unimpeded. Each house and residence serves as a personal sanctum, complete with a separate living room, dedicated butler service, and private pool. Blending the comforts of home, with an unscripted, bohemian whimsy, this immensely private hideaway delivers the barefoot lifestyle paired with ultimate luxury, positioning itself as one of the world’s most exclusive private island resort experiences.

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Minor Hotels triumphs with 22 accolades at T+L Luxury Awards Asia Pacific; 7 for Maldives resorts

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Minor Hotels, a leading global hotel owner and operator, secured an impressive haul of 22 accolades at the Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2024, with its properties in Maldives receiving seven awards. The awards ceremony, held on the evening of 13 June 2024, celebrated excellence across the luxury travel sector, showcasing the very best in hospitality throughout the region.

The awards, determined through an extensive online survey conducted by Travel + Leisure, recognise outstanding achievements in the travel and hospitality industry, with readers from around the world voting for their favourite luxury hotels, resorts, and experiences.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas emerged as a standout, securing multiple awards, including second place for Best Resorts in the Maldives, second place for Best House Reefs, and third place for Best Hotel Pools. Additionally, the resort was featured in the categories of The Most Outrageous Villas and Best Resort Spas, solidifying its reputation as a premier destination in the Maldives.

The Crescent at Niyama Private Islands Maldives, a cluster of secluded overwater villas with private pools and dedicated butlers, was also awarded, ranking fourth in its category.

The awards for Minor Hotels’ resorts in Maldives are: 

Best Resorts:

  • #2 Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Best Hotel Pools:

  • #3 Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Best Resort Spas:

  • #4 Niyama Private Islands Maldives

Best House Reefs:

  • #2 Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

The Most Outrageous Villas:

  • #4 Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
  • #5 Niyama Private Islands Maldives

Best General Managers:

  • #3 Hafidh Busaidy, Niyama Private Islands Maldives
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Awards

Grand Park Kodhipparu listed among Maldives’ best resorts

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Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives has been listed as one of the best resorts in Maldives at the Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2024. The awards ceremony, held on the evening of 13 June 2024, celebrated excellence across the luxury travel sector, showcasing the very best in hospitality throughout the region.

The awards, determined through an extensive online survey conducted by Travel + Leisure, recognise outstanding achievements in the travel and hospitality industry, with readers from around the world voting for their favourite luxury hotels, resorts, and experiences.

Located on North Male Atoll and a mere 20 minutes by speedboat from Velana International Airport, Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives is a luxurious one-island-one resort destination in the Maldives featuring a collection of 120 idyllic beach-front pool villas, breath-taking overwater villas and spacious two-bedroom villas.

Designed by world-renowned hospitality firm, Hirsch Bedner Associates, the resort is an oasis of luxury and tranquillity featuring open and breezy public spaces alongside modern interiors inspired by the Maldivian island, local traditions, and crafts. An unrivalled range of leisure facilities includes an overwater spa with seven treatment rooms, a fully equipped PADI dive facility, a recreation beach club, Little Explorers kids’ club, three outstanding destination-dining offerings and an infinity pool.

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