With lush vegetation, white sand beaches and turquoise lagoons, the islands of the Maldives are renowned for their beauty. The stunning natural environment, particularly the fragile coral reefs, bring millions of tourists to the country each year, so protecting the eco-system is high on the agenda for many resorts.
Below are some of the top eco-friendly holiday destinations in the Maldives, each offering attractive accommodation, superb dining options and plenty of facilities for relaxation and activity. Read on to find out more about the environmental efforts that each island is making…
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Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu occupies a beautiful island where ivory beaches encircle a lush tropical paradise overlooking a breathtaking, crystal clear lagoon.
Coco Collection, the company behind Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and Coco Bodu Hithi has launched a new initiative to reduce the resorts’ consumption of single-use plastic. This includes using paper straws, banning plastic bags, providing in-villa toiletries in refillable glass bottles and amenities made from natural materials such as wooden toothbrushes. Both resorts operate an island clean-up programme, while Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu has a drinking water production and glass bottling plant as well as a waste management centre where materials are recycled. To cut down on the impact on importing produce, organic fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown on the island.
Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is also home to a Marine Turtle Rescue Centre, providing a nesting site for the endangered Green Sea Turtles and offering treatment and rehabilitation to sea turtles injured by discarded fishing nets. Marine biologists also work to educate guests, staff and local schoolchildren about the dangers of plastic pollution and the importance of protecting marine life.
Baros is a lush tropical island surrounded by the waters of a shallow lagoon and a reef rich in marine life, an idyllic setting for a romantic holiday.
For the past forty years environmental protection has been a top priority at Baros, with the resort working hard to look after the eco-systems of the island and surrounding waters. Water is recycled and purified so that it can be used to irrigate the gardens, all chemicals used for cleaning and laundry are biodegradable, all air-conditioning units are free of CFC and guest villas are fitted with a heat exchange system that heats water used for bathing.
Guests are invited to learn more about the natural environment including the island’s thriving coral reef. The Marine Centre’s resident marine biologists are on hand to discuss environmental topics while guided snorkelling excursions offer an informative introduction to the underwater world. Guests can gain hands-on experience and help the island’s team by collecting broken but still living coral fragments and transplanting them to a safe area where they can grow. The Eco Dive Centre avoids damaging the underwater habitat and encourages guests to observe nature but not to chase or touch marine life.
Meanwhile, back on dry land a biologist leads twice-weekly nature walks where guests can learn about the island’s fauna and flora. The resort also runs awareness programmes to promote understanding of ecological issues including tours to local villages, fishing trips and diving expeditions.
Soneva Fushi is a unique resort where the motto is ‘no news, no shoes’, offering barefoot luxury and sustainable living with nature-inspired architecture built using sustainable materials.
Soneva Fushi works hard to monitor its social and environmental impacts and has managed to remain carbon neutral thanks to efforts including planting over half a million trees in Thailand, providing fuel-efficient stoves to people in Darfur and Myanmar to reduce deforestation and indoor air pollution, and filtering and bottling their own drinking water. The resort recycles 90% of waste on-site, composts leftover food and uses in the vegetable gardens, turns Styrofoam packaging into lightweight blocks for construction, and has an on-site glass studio to create works of art from wine bottles.
The resort has its own observatory above the forest with a state-of-the-art telescope and resident astronomer, while even the surfing is eco-friendly, with all equipment made from recycled waste.
Gili Lankanfushi is a luxurious island resort that has been designed in an authentic style using sustainably-sourced materials such as palm wood and bamboo, ensuring that the resort blends seamlessly into the natural environment.
The island is aiming for a zero-waste existence and encourages guests to become more sustainable both while staying at the resort and when they return home. The resort cuts down its use of plastic by offering organic toiletries in refillable earthenware containers, with a fully-functioning Eco Centre recycling glass, plastic and aluminium as well as composting food waste. The island’s dedicated desalination plant produces bottled water while the organic garden provides many of the herbs, fruits and vegetables used in the kitchen.
Gili Veshi is the island’s marine research facility where a team of marine biologists manage the coral reefs surrounding the island, advise the resort’s management on ecological issues and educate guests. Guest experiences include reef cleaning, eco tours and educational treasure hunts for children, both in and out of the water.
Six Senses Laamu
Six Senses Laamu is an exclusive island paradise which is committed to reducing its environmental impact both on dry land and beneath the surface, as well as aiming to have a positive impact on the local community. Organic herbs and vegetables are grown in the Leaf Garden while all of the island’s water is produced by desalination stored in glass bottles, with waste water also being treated on site. The resort tries to reduce its waste and encourages guests to recycle paper, plastic, metal and glass. The Earth Lab is an innovative hub where glass is crushed into cement products, organic waste is composted, old towels are used to make flower pots and used wax is turned into candles.
The marine team is the largest of its kind in the Maldives, conducting valuable research to implement long-term conservation while promoting marine awareness to guests and local communities. Guests are invited to join guided snorkel trips, evening presentations and reef clean ups, and can witness turtle hatching on the island’s beaches. The island has codes of conduct for dolphin watching and interactions with turtles and manta rays, to ensure the sustainability of each sea creature’s population. The island also has a coral nursery and is making plans to play an active role in the conservation of sea grass beds.
Call us on 01752 880 880 or email [email protected] to discuss your next holiday to the Caribbean or the Maldives – all our holidays are tailor-made so we can put together a suggestion including the best flights and hotels for you.
We offer fully bonded and protected holidays, whether booked with flights via our ATOL 5615 or for accommodation only holidays with our ABTA Y5401. This means you can rest assured that your Tropic Breeze holiday is safe and secure.