A barefoot utopia sitting atop its own private coral island, Gili Lankanfushi is one of the most sought after locations that the Maldives – and world – has to offer. But, beyond the splendiferous luxury of its over-water villas, the exclusive nature of its secluded location, and the idyllic atmosphere of an island disconnected from the world, is an on-going campaign to preserve the surrounding area’s beauty via constant sustainability and eco-friendly efforts.
A resort that was previously named the world’s most ‘Eco-friendly Hotel’ at the 2017 Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards, below, we take a look at the most innovative ways that Gili Lankanfushi is helping to preserve and nurture its magnificent Maldivian setting.
Just beneath the surface of the Maldives’ crystal clear waters lies a vibrant microcosm that’s teeming with wonderful, exotic wildlife. From colourful clownfish to radiant reef mantas, these 26 atolls are home to over 1,100 species of fish, sharks and rays.
In recent years, climate change has meant that the delicate coral reef system in which they live has become endangered, with higher water temperatures leading to coral bleaching and eventual mass mortality.
Gili Lankanfushi’s Coral Lines Project has been in place since 2014, with resident marine biologists carefully hand-nursing coral-filled ropes in a bid to revive the struggling reef. Here, biologists plant 50 living coral fragments onto submerged ropes, which are later transplanted back into the house reef after being nurtured back to health.
In-keeping with Gili Lankanfushi’s sustainable ethos, their luscious vegetable and herb-filled garden is a much-loved feature of the island.
Complete with all kinds of organic produce – from spinach, rocket and basil, to strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries – guests can experience the deliciousness of the resorts eco-friendly efforts for themselves as chefs routinely harvest the ingredients for use in the on-site restaurants.
Alongside the breath-taking panoramic views that can be found in any of Gili Lankanfushi’s rooms, guests will also find an array of organic, sustainable toiletries housed in refillable earthenware containers.
Consistently working to minimise their amount of plastic use and wastage, the resort is also home to a dedicated desalinisation plant that provides refreshing still and sparking water to guests in eco-friendly glass bottles.
Authentically Maldivian in both design and approach, buildings on the Gili Lankanfushi islands are constructed using the finest plantation teak, palm wood, bamboo and palm fronds.
Ensuring all materials were sustainably-sourced prior to building their spectacular over water huts, staff meticulously harvested useful items during the island’s rehabilitation process – their recycling efforts even extending to finding a home for unwanted telegraph poles.
Nestled just behind Gili Lankanfushi’s herb garden is the resort’s Eco Centre, which is home to the Maldives’ first and only Rocket Composter.
Taking all of the unwanted food wastes from the kitchens and dining areas, the state-of-the-art composter is fed daily, with the resulting mulch utilised as a fertiliser to help the herbs, fruit and vegetables continue to thrive.