The modest realisation that we are but tiny specs in the world has evolved alongside the morphing of travel into a means for metaphorical journeys. The discerning traveller still desires exclusive experiences and personalised service from their city sojourns and resort holidays, but wants it bundled together with sustainability at its core.
Luxury is today defined by how mindfully great comfort and immersive experiences are delivered. As the lines between cultural immersion and luxury travel blur, you can now be in a pristine destination, bask in the warmth of the tropical sun, reconnect with nature and submerge yourself in local culture all in one place. In describing our growing relationship with our surroundings, the poetic adage “take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints,” has now become the maxim of travel.
Set on the Fari Islands, a stunning archipelago on the north-eastern tip of North Malé Atoll, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives pays astute attention to the needs of that new traveller, all the while upholding the resort’s commitment to have minimal impact on its surroundings—from design to function.
Where design meets nature
The Fari Islands belt of the Maldives boasts relatively untouched nature and is renowned for its azure waters, rich marine biodiversity and pearly-white sandy beaches. The 100-villa luxury resort displays careful consideration of this pristineness with its minimalist approach to design and attention to detail. “The masterplan is directly shaped by ocean forces, the wind and waves,” explains a spokesperson from Kerry Hill Architects, who designed The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands.
The circular shape of the overwater one to three-bedroom villas ensures undeterred passage of light, and seamlessly lets in the sights and sounds of the surrounding ocean. These residences invite guests to immerse in the island spirit in complete privacy. A curved pool deck, which embraces each villa, adds to the natural flow, elevated with a pool that seems to merge with the ocean.
Where possible, natural air circulation is promoted, aided by a special glazing that helps limit the use of air conditioning. Solar panels installed throughout the resort uphold the luxury hotel brand’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.
While the use of natural materials, their low-maintenance weathered finish, and custom decor paying homage to local craft tradition hint at the resort’s positioning as a design-forward luxury destination, its eco-design principles firmly prove that it is also a keeper of its natural environment. Individual villas are prefabricated off site and transported to the island, so that they place minimal stress on the delicate reef ecosystem in the Maldives.
Upholding the circle of island life
The resort also offers an array of immersive cultural activities curated with care. From explorations of the deep sea and an ocean mystery program led by a resident naturalist, to a family cooking class and a bike safari, these experiences showcase the best of Maldivian life with an added benefit of learning about social sustainability. In particular, families travelling with young ones can look forward to the Ritz Kids programme, aimed at inspiring wonder and discovery in children through wondrous activities like a delightful treasure hunt.
Taking The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands’s sustainability efforts up to a wholly new level is the Ambassadors of the Environment program, the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific. The main aim of this brand programme initiated by Jean-Michel Cousteau is to connect guests with the marine environment and educate them about conserving it for future generations. As Renato De Oliveira, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, explains, this partnership has two perks: furthering the brand’s commitment to a sustainable future, while—more importantly—bringing “this incredibly important environmental preservation aspect into the guest experience”.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa completes each stay by providing ultimate indulgence for the body and soul. The overwater spa structure has a ring-like design, housing nine treatment rooms along its perimeter. It sits still within its turquoise surroundings, radiating positive energy and expanding the conversation of mindful living.
It is only logical that the treatments and healing massages in this sanctuary of calm should be informed by an icon of sustainable wellness—organic label Bamford, with its botanical and artisanal body and skincare collection. Aside from its presence on the spa’s treatment menu, the responsibly sourced and GMO, paraben, SLS and mineral oil-free products can also be found in each of the guest villas.
Inside, the spa’s overarching aesthetic concept cocoons guests in luxurious comfort, while Bamford’s Camille perfume sets the olfactory scene for complete relaxation. In a scenic destination such as the Maldives, and with an experience like this, you depart with a treasure trove of memories and promise to leave behind only footprints on the sand, time and time again.
Book a stay at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands here.