Company utilises sustainable technologies and techniques to safeguard the local ecosystem, working closely with leading marine biologist Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat, to head coral restoration programmes.
BANGKOK, THAILAND: S Hotels & Resorts, the hotel management arm of Thailand’s Singha Estate PCL, is pioneering the latest technologies and techniques to safeguard the environment as it creates CROSSROADS Maldives, the Indian Ocean’s largest integrated resort.
Scheduled to open in June 2019, the project will encompass three idyllic islands fringing the Emboodhoo Lagoon in the South Malé Atoll, just 15 minutes by speedboat from Malé International Airport. Phase one of the development will feature two resorts, SAii Lagoon Maldives and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives, plus a wide range of facilities centred upon The Marina @CROSSROADS, which has over 6,000 square metres of lifestyle area.
S Hotels & Resorts understands however, that it not only has a deep responsibility to the destination and its communities but also that the biggest drawcard for any visitor to the Maldives is its spectacular environment. So the company is taking extensive steps to ensure that CROSSROADS is developed in harmony with nature.
This includes specialist equipment being used to record the underwater environment and monitor the ecological impact - and the development of a Marine Discovery Centre which will be an extensive showcase for sustainability showcasing the steps taken in the development of CROSSROADS and the importance of the marine ecosystem. Based on the ‘3Rs’ - Recruit, Rehabilitation, Release - this environmental hub will educate the resort’s guests and the local community, while undertaking significant marine conservation programmes.
In addition, the company has partnered with Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat, one of Asia’s most highly-respected marine biologists, as Project Coordinator of CROSSROADS Maldives. Dr Thon, who has been widely credited with restoring the marine ecosystem in Thailand’s Maya Bay (aka “The Beach”), has been tasked with developing coral preservation and regeneration projects, as well as social education initiatives.
“The Maldives is an idyllic environment that must be preserved. At S Hotels & Resorts, we will take every measure possible to ensure the preservation of this unique ecosystem, whilst also enabling guests to explore this breath-taking destination in a responsible and sustainable manner,” commented Dirk De Cuyper, Chief Hospitality Officer, S Hotels & Resorts. “Dr Thon is one of the world’s leading authorities on marine conservation, whose work in restoring Maya Bay has made headlines all around the world. I am delighted that he has agreed to join the CROSSROADS Maldives team as we create a project that is large in scale but light in footprint.”
The two resorts at CROSSROADS Maldives will employ a wide range of environmental initiatives and energy-saving solutions. SAii Lagoon Maldives and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will not use any single-use plastics such as plastic bottles, drinking straws, bathroom amenity containers and coffee machine capsules, instead utilising reusable, recyclable or biodegradable versions, under the ‘3Rs’ policy. All resort lighting will use energy-efficient LED bulbs and waste management systems will include composting and organic gardens.
Additionally, SAii Lagoon Maldives will use a heat recovery system to power its hot water system and steam generators to drive its laundry machines, and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will provide all guests with recyclable and biodegradable flip-flops, while selling “reef safe” sunscreen and sustainable baby diapers at its onsite shops. Recycling bins will also be available throughout the resorts.
SAii Lagoon Maldives is an original and inspiring new retreat that will feature a series of rooms and villas, including over-water pool villas, plus easy access to extensive water sports, cultural activities, wellness and world-class dining. Hard Rock Hotel Maldives meanwhile, will feature 178 rooms, suites and villas, plus family-friendly experiences and Hard Rock’s branded concepts, including a Hard Rock Café, Rock Spa and a Rock Shop selling merchandise and showcasing music memorabilia.
Both resorts will encourage young guests to learn about the local ecosystem through their Junior Coral Curator programmes, which will teach kids about the coral propagation techniques used by Dr Thon and his team. The Maldives Discovery Centre will also educate locals and visitors alike about the importance of marine conservation and underwater activities including bespoke programmes to boost biodiversity. In addition, outreach programmes to Maldivian schools will educate local children about the importance of environmental awareness, including reducing plastic use.
By showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage, engaging with local communities and preserving the pristine environment, CROSSROADS Maldives is weaving together the past, present and future of the Maldives and ensuring the sustainability of this captivating destination for generations to come.