*Produced by SilverKris for Gili Lankanfushi*
With the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines, there is mounting excitement about the re-opening of borders, with some already planning for that first post-pandemic trip. That said, the priorities of travellers have shifted from going someplace “fun” or “exotic” to conscientiously selecting destinations that are sustainability-minded.
According to a recent study by online travel agency Booking.com, nearly half of Singapore travellers say they want to travel more sustainably in the future, and 73% expect the travel industry to offer more sustainable travel options such as off-season travel packages.
Gili Lankanfushi, a luxury eco-resort on the North Male Atoll, is well ahead of the curve. Ever since its inception in 2012, the resort has placed the wellbeing of the marine ecosystem at the heart of its operations. Located just 20 minutes by speedboat from the Male international airport, this resort – voted TripAdvisor’s “World Best Hotel” in 2015 – is set in the middle of its own lagoon, offering guests a front-row seat to the beauty of the Indian Ocean.
Below, we highlight five reasons why Gili Lankanfushi should rank first on your post-pandemic travel wish list.
1. Sustainability is more than just a buzzword here
Gili Lankanfushi doesn’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk – the resort works closely with EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for sustainable travel and tourism, and achieved silver certification in 2017. That means Gili Lankanfushi complies with international best practices in areas ranging from energy consumption and waste recycling to community contributions and corporate social responsibility.
2. The resort is designed with sustainability principles in mind
All the buildings in the 45-villa property are constructed using sustainably sourced plantation teak, palm wood, bamboo and palm fronds. The overwater villas are supported with recycled telegraph poles, and were carefully designed to catch the natural ocean breeze, with large roof overhangs to increase shading and minimise the need for air-conditioning.
That’s not all. Nicolas Khairallah, resort manager at Gili Lankanfushi, reveals that they’ve recently completed the installation of 640 solar panels. He shares, “At Gili Lankanfushi, we recognise the important of green energy; the solar panels will allow us to reduce our carbon footprint and have a positive impact on the challenges stemming from climate change.”
3. Marine conservation is high on the agenda
As a low-lying island nation, the Maldives is dependent on three key marine habitats – coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangrove forests – and is particularly vulnerable to climate change. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami had a devastating impact on the archipelago but according to Tiana Wu, resident marine biologist at Gili Lankanfushi, the structure of the natural habits played key roles in protecting the islands.
This is part of the reason why Gili Lankanfushi pays extra attention to marine conservation, hiring two marine biologists to carry out research projects and lead guests in initiatives such as the Coral Lines Project, which aims to protect and replenish the island’s house reef to maintain biodiversity and mitigate episodes of bleaching.
4. Your wellbeing is a priority
Beyond the big-picture initiatives, Gili Lankanfushi is also committed to service excellence on a micro level. For example, the new Powered by Plants package offers customised plant-based offerings and nature-based experiences designed to rejuvenate your mind and body. This includes everything from private yoga classes on the beach to a snorkelling excursion with a resident marine biologist. You can also attend a private cooking class with executive chef Hari Govindaraj where you’ll learn to prepare Maldivian curries, juices and smoothies using ingredients from the resort’s garden. Or simply relax in the divine Meera Spa, which offers a slew of healing therapies using cruelty-free products.
5. Dining here is an eclectic culinary experience
Under the watchful eye of Chef Hari, the kitchen team operates on a policy of minimal waste. The island’s organic garden is among the largest in the Maldives and provides a bountiful supply of fresh herbs and greens for the kitchen. All fish is sourced from local fishermen who use sustainable methods. Whether you dine by the beach or in the comfort of your own villa, you can be assured the meal you’re tucking into is fresh, delicious and good for the environment.
As resort manager Nicolas Khairallah says, at Gili Lankanfushi, you get to define what luxury means to you. He says, “This personal touch is embodied by our warm and sincere Gili hosts and by our commitment to keeping nature natural.”
For more information on Gili Lankanfushi, visit their website here.