SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL NEWS FOR 2021:
Maldivian eco-resort Gili Lankanfushi to launch a new plant-based package – ‘Powered by Plants’ – to further cater to eco-conscious travellers
Maldives 20 May, 2020 | Looking beyond immediate restrictions to sustainable travel news for 2021, much-loved Maldivian eco-resort Gili Lankanfushi will introduce a new ‘Powered by Plants’ package; a series of plant-based offerings and nature-based experiences to continue to strive to reduce the resort’s impact on the planet, and further facilitate responsible travellers in honouring their natural surroundings.
A recent survey from Original Travel on post-Coronavirus travel showed that 30% of respondents will want to travel more sustainably once restrictions are lifted and McKinsey’s report on luxury consumption post-crisis anticipates an intensified desire for more responsible consumption amongst luxury consumers.
Arriving at the resort, guests will settle into their villa with sweet vegan treats, feather and wool-free bedding and a complimentary bottle of reef-safe Australian gold botanic sunscreen so they can take a dip in the crystal clear ocean safe in the knowledge that they are protecting the surrounding eco-system. Located in the languid waters of the North Malé Atoll, just a 20-minute speedboat ride from Malé, the resort’s 45 villas offer open-air living spaces, roof terraces and private decks with direct access to the lagoon below. Its furnishings are inspired by the island and made by skilled craftsman using upcycled materials such as bed frames made from recycled teakwood and lampshades handwoven with recycled wire mesh to feature fish and sea turtles.
Whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner, guests will be treated to colourful and balanced plant-based menus, drawing inspiration from Maldivian culinary traditions and carefully crafted by Gili Lankanfushi’s executive chef Hari Govindaraj using organic herbs, vegetables and fruits lovingly grown in the resort’s very own organic garden without using harmful pesticides. Signature dishes include; Aloe Vera & Beetroot Tartar with Arugula and Seared Radish & Spinach Cannelloni. 100% of the resort’s food waste will be processed in an advanced rocket composter, producing natural fertiliser which will continue to nurture the island’s extensive organic garden.
Nature-based days will begin with intention as guests will enjoy a private vinyasa flow yoga class on the beach before accompanying a local marine biologist on a guided snorkelling session, learning about Gili Lankanfushi’s pioneering Coral Lines Project which provides a nursery environment for new corals to grow, bolstering the house reef and monitoring survival types across coral genotypes. The island’s dedicated marine biology team monitor the health and biodiversity of the ecosystems, measure light intensity and sea temperature, whilst also identifying and tracking manta ray and turtle populations, to educate guests about the underwater world through the guided trips. They will also offer a new programme of additional lectures at their dedicated research centre, Gili Veshi.
For those eager to try their hand at a new skill to take home, there is the opportunity to learn plant-based tricks of the trade from Chef Hari in a private Gili Vegan Cooking Class where guests will prepare Maldivian curries, juices and smoothies using fresh ingredients found in the gardens. After a full day of outdoor pursuits, guests can retreat to the blissfully secluded Meera Spa and enjoy a holistic and healing treatment using cruelty-free vegan products such as Voya’s ‘Serenergise’ body oil and ‘Feel the Heat’ warming gel to rejuvenate the body.
To book: Powered by Plants at Gili Lankanfushi starts from $4285 (approx. £3,416) for five nights’ accommodation including all meals during guests’ stay from Chef Hari’s plant based menus, plant-based in-room amenities, a Gili Vegan Cooking Class, a private dinner under the stars, a 60-minute treatment of choice, a private vinyasa flow yoga class, a guided snorkel with a marine biologist, and domestic transfers.
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Located in the North Malé Atoll, Gili Lankanfushi opened in 2000 as the original over-water resort, Soneva Gili. In 2012, the island was acquired by HPL (Hotel Properties Limited), a Singapore-based company investing in hotels, lifestyle and properties around the world. Voted number one hotel in the world by TripAdvisor in 2015, Gili Lankanfushi is an easy 20-minute speedboat transfer from Malé international airport. Set in the middle of its own lagoon, guests enjoy a barefoot existence with 360-degree views of the Indian Ocean. Gili Lankanfushi’s 45 overwater villas, including the vast and secluded Private Reserve, offer unrivalled privacy. The wellbeing of the planet is at the heart of the Gili Lankanfushi, with each stay contributing towards preserving the natural environment, protecting the fragile marine ecosystem and treading lightly.