The Westin Maldives has recently been the location of a press trip photoshoot for Stay Wild Swim. Our founders, Natalie and Zanna, headed out there after the launch of the Terra collection to shoot the pieces with a backdrop of stunning coastline, and at one of the most sustainable hotels on the planet. Here’s a little round up as to why the Westin Maldives is hitting that sustainable quota:
UNESCO recognised location
Located in the Central Western part of the Maldives, the Baa Atoll supports one of the largest groups of coral reefs in the Indian Ocean, accounting for 5 per cent of the world’s reef area. The 250 species of coral create a magical underwater home and habitat for over 1,200 fish species and animals including many threatened and endangered such as the green turtle, hawksbill turtle, Napoleon wrasses and Tawny Nurse Sharks.
Minimising the resort’s impact on the area was a key part of the design brief, and architects PEIA Associati worked closely with local environmental expert Prof. Sahig to find concrete solutions to combat coastal erosion, working to calculate the wave pressure on the shore, to understand how best to use winds within the architectural design, how to use the wind to your advantage within architecture and how to adhere to the seasonal changes of the shape of the island itself (sand beaches, the island geometry and sizes are completely different during the dry season and the monsoon season). All the buildings on the resort are built with sustainability in mind; waterproof concrete cubes are topped with a timber roof, creating natural ventilation system through the double roof and material combination, with timber absorbing heat and concrete acting as a coolant. The flat rooftops of many of the back-of- house buildings can be used for solar panels or for hydroponic cultivation of fruits and vegetables for the resort. PEIA Associati worked with its suppliers to source innovative and durable materials for the resort, creating a ceramic product for floors, pool and bathrooms that is more sustainable than real stone or marble without compromising on the look and feel. Where rare and endangered Teak is often used for decking, the company opted to use engineered and treated fast-growing timber from controlled forestation areas.
DAY TO DAY
The resort’s commitment to sustainability continues beyond the construction through to day to day practices. The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort has the ultimate goal of being entirely plastic free.All water and amenities – often the biggest sources of plastic waste for hotels - will be bottled on the island into reusable glass containers, whilst two Carbonators® on site turn waste into ashes with no smoke or wastewater pollution. Meanwhile glass is reduced to power, tin is flattened, the little plastic that is used is crushed and recycled, and grey water is used to water the island. A desalination system uses reverse osmosis to turn seawater into drinking water, removing the need to transport it from the mainland. The resort is also in the process of purchasing electric boats to further reduce its carbon footprint.