Though the coronavirus lockdown may be testing all our emotions, relationships and bank balances, on a personal level, the world-wide devastation has certainly highlighted my gratitude as a traveller and focused my attention on not only where but who I want to be.
As most of you know just before the advised social distancing and travel bans I spent a week in The Maldives. A destination that, for so many reasons, is very special to me and a location I never took for granted being able to travel to. The collection of scattered islands is a bucket-list escape for many, with the famous turquoise coloured ocean and idyllic water villas painting the perfect picture of paradise.
That being said, I’ve had the luxury of travelling to the romantic islands frequently over the last 8 years and I have seen first hand the direct damage to the ocean caused by human neglect and ignorance. The vibrant corals that I gazed in awe at 8 years ago do not have the same colourful intrigue nowadays and the amount of plastic waste seen floating in the ocean is now truly devastating to see.
On our recent trip, it was both refreshing and heart-warming to hear all about the ways in which The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is ‘doing their bit’ to actively improve the environment at the resort, which, in turn has a direct impact on our entire planet.
I’ve spent a lot of the last year educating myself on the devastating effects of my every day actions on the ocean and it’s been a personal project of mine to try and make even the smallest of differences to my lifestyle. I wrote an entire post about the importance of sustainability here and I actively promote ocean-friendly products, a vegan lifestyle and other tips and tricks to help us fight against climate change on my social media accounts.
Over the last few years I’ve seen an amazing change within the travel industry, simple things like refillable glass water bottles in hotel rooms as opposed to single use plastics, advising guests to re-use linens and towels, using eco-friendly cleaning supplies and utilising products and goods from local communities.
The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has an impeccable reputation of ‘firsts’ including being home to the first underwater restaurant and underwater villa. So it was of no surprise to me to hear that the luxury hotel is also paving the way with regards the hotel’s eco-journey.
The resort recently teamed up with Parley For The Oceans to take an active role in becoming part of the solution to the challenges that face the world’s oceans. In a commitment to not only make a physical change to preserve the beauty of The Maldives but to also encourage and influence world travellers.
“With a mindful approach to travel, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island continues to inspire change,” said Stefano Ruzza, General Manager of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. “Through creative collaborations with likeminded brands and the development of unique and educational experiences on and off property, we encourage our guests to become part of the solution as they reinforce a positive impact while traveling as well as in their daily life at home.” *
As well as beach clean-up programmes, a coral regeneration program and the use of re-useable glass bottles in guest rooms the initiative includes stunning a stunning piece of art work, The EvoGyre which debuted at Rangali Bar In June. The large structure of a jelly fish was assembled using nearly 5,500 locally sourced single-use plastic bottles held together by coir rope, steel cable and illuminated by LED lighting. It hangs from the ceiling serving an educational and interactive touchpoint for guests. The team chose to create a Jelly Fish as it’s a species known for being an indicator of climate change, “EvoGyre makes a direct connection between the surrounding marine environment of the Maldives and the impact of plastic.” * A visual reminder of the humankind responsibility to protect the oceans.
When you are staying in The Maldives there is no escaping the beauty of the ocean that surrounds you and to know that The Conrad Maldives is actively trying to protect it makes a stay there all the more ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ and fulfilling.
Read more about my recent stay and their brand new Grand Water Villas with Pool here.
*A quote from a recent Conrad Maldives Press Release – Read the full article here