There are few destinations as picture-postcard as beautiful as the Maldives, so if this is the year you’re going to invest in that luxury holiday, we’ve found five of the best luxury hotels with sustainable credentials.
Six Senses Lamuu
On its own private island, Six Senses Lamuu has an on-site marine team to educate guests on the safe and ethical way to explore and enjoy the ocean, as well as runing a zero-waste programme, and an organic on-site garden. One of the biggest environmental costs of staying at a remote luxury resort is the sheer effort and food miles that it takes to deliver the meals and restaurant service. At Six Senses Laamu, the ‘Earth Lab’ aims to alleviate this problem by growing as much produce as it can on the premises, bottling its own water, using natural insecticides to ward off bugs and looking at all forms of sustainability as they work to achieve their zero-waste goal.
With a mantra to live the slow life, there’s plenty at Soneva Fushi, with its chic, reclaimed-wood bungalows, to be applauded. The resort is in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and has its own organic garden and mushroom house, on-site recycling and wastewater treatment plants. There’s even a glass-making studio that produces upcycled tableware made from repurposed wine, beer, and liquor bottles from the resort’s bars. There are energy-management tactics too, such as drawing energy from an on-property solar photovoltaic power plant.
Easily accessible at just 20 minutes by speed boat from the international airport, Gili Lankanfushi is constructed using sustainably sourced materials, including teak and palm woods, palm fronds and bamboo (much is from the island itself, which cuts down on CO2 from transporting building materials), as well as recycled telephone poles. This is a plastic-free island, with refillable organic toiletries in the bathrooms, and an on-site desalinisation plant that bottles its own still and sparkling water.
The carbon emissions required to build this sustainability star were offset by planting trees, whilst the hotel design itself took pains to protect the natural flora and fauna, working around over 1,000 palm trees. All plastic used at the resort is both recycled and recyclable, whilst food waste is recycled using an innovative rocket composter; there’s investment too, in a rainwater-powered energy supply. Joali supports local CSR projects including educating local schools on the importance of sustainability and helping empower women in the Maldives – the hotel has a commitment to hiring local women at all levels, and funds volunteer work with local schools to help girls and women gain the skills needed for employment.
One & Only Reethi Rah
Each villa at One & Only Reethi Rah opens out to its own strip of private beach, with hammocks strung up between palm trees and daybeds on private terraces; some even have their own private pools. Behind the scenes of this all-out luxury are initiatives to combat the resort’s impact, such as reducing the use of energy and water and effectively managing waste. A programme to care for the coral reefs enhances the biodiversity of the hotel’s surrounding habitats, and they work closely with the Olive Ridley Project, to rehabilitate injured turtles.
Make 2022 the year you upgrade your luggage.
Up next: the best new hotels opening in 2022.