Studies have shown that travellers are increasingly more concerned about their impact on the world and there has been an increase in awareness of environmental and social issues. Apart from eco-conscious accommodation, travellers are also looking for meaningful travel initiatives. In 2021, Marriott International launched the Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy program which aspires to shift the way vacations are perceived – from pure leisure to a value-adding opportunity that allows travellers to explore and build deeper connections in local communities.
Conscientious travellers to the Maldives can look forward to including initiatives to continue to eliminate single-use plastics, implementation of re-usable glass bottles for water and juices, usage of paper products around the resorts and initiating monthly dives against debris and clean-up days along with various other initiatives to promote the conservation of marine life and awareness of the same.
These two resorts from Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio in the Maldives are ramping up initiatives to do their bit for the environment, oceans and community:
Whether you’re looking to follow your dietary discipline, or experience what sustainable dining entails even while you’re in the middle of the ocean – look no further! W Maldives is elevating its culinary offerings by collaborating with celebrity vegan chef & sustainable cuisine champion, Chef Priyanka Naik, who has created a pop-up menu that would be available exclusively at the resort until October 2023. With a focus on local and sustainably sourced ingredients, while maintaining a stylish presentation and bold flavours true to the brand, the menu is sure to entice not just vegans but also non-vegans to give it a try.
The luxury playground in North Ari Atoll has also partnered with cutting-edge Hong Kong swimwear label Mazu Resortwear to create exclusive prints with a bold message in mind. Made out of salvaged plastic bottles, the limited edition swimwear collection is stealing the scene in style and is inspired by the team’s commitment to saving the ocean since 2021. The resort also offers bath amenities in refillable bottles, to reduce plastic waste.
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
Situated on a natural island, the lush Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is surrounded by an incredible array of over thirty species of plant life and home to 630 palm trees, absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide to decrease global warming. From the tropical Coconut Tree to the fragrant Tulip Tree, no resources of nature are wasted as the tree’s fallen branches are used as building materials for boats and other purposes. As guests explore the resort, they can come across several trees that are not only beautiful but also have significant cultural and medicinal value. The Ficus benghalensis, or Banyan Tree, is one such tree. Its large canopy provides shade from the hot sun and its bark, leaves, fruits, and latex are all used in traditional medicine. Another tree that can be found is the Ficus religiosa, also known as the sacred fig or bodhi tree. It has a lifespan of up to 1500 years and is considered sacred in Indian culture. The Calophyllum inophyllum, or tamanu tree, has versatile wood for building boats and cabinets.
The Adopt a Coral initiative at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa invites guests to participate in the fun and interactive coral-fragment plantation activity in an effort to promote reef habitats and generate new coral. The resort has teamed up with Reefscapers, a coral propagation organization appointed by the Maldivian Government as custodians of the coral colonies in the Gulhi Falhu lagoon which was slated to be destroyed as part of a reclamation project. The activity is led by experts and offers a hands-on experience to participants while also providing an alternative business to the 250 inhabitants whose sole previous source of employment was fishing. The resort witnessed coral spawning, a milestone in the resort’s coral propagation initiative that started in February 2020. To date, over 6,000 coral fragments from 15 different species of corals have been transplanted. As part of the Adopt a Coral program, participating guests also receive regular updates on the status and growth of the coral they planted to keep track of its progress.
The resort also runs its own ‘water bottling plant initiative’ as part of the resort’s sustainability program that is dedicated to removing large amounts of plastic bottles from the resort. This initiative is an important aspect of the property’s commitment to protecting and preserving its environment through day-to-day operation, encompassing Marriott International’s wider “Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction” campaign. The one-of-a-kind outdoor gym in the five-star resort is a true embodiment of sustainability and innovation. Fitness enthusiasts can work up a sweat while treading lightly on the earth, thanks to the gym’s construction from recycled materials. With equipment crafted from the wood of fallen trees, every element of the gym tells a story of sustainability and eco-consciousness.