Six Senses Laamu
A Barefoot Luxury with the most sustainable approach
Evolution of Sustainability Luxury Hotels
As growing concerns with globe warming and protecting our environment, hotel brands are as much liable to the problematic cause of our future’s nature as much as individuals, even greater. As global tourist arrival numbers continue increasing, demand and supply trends in regard to sustainable business practices are shifting. Individual travelers and organisations are changing perceptions about requirements for the future and the responsibilities that hotels carry regarding that future.
Hotels today are shifting toward more sustainable practices and it is proven to be rising in demand as travelers are more aware of their surroundings and educating themselves more on ways they can help the earth during their travels, creating a positive impact on our local community and environment. As a results, guests are looking for sustainable and authentic experiences and luxury hotels are going green as demand increases for sustainable travel options as do I.
Last week, I was lucky enough to visit Six Senses Laamu in Maldives. A property I have had my eye on for almost 8 years, just as they opened in 2011. I was monitoring their work mostly because of the many awards they have won for their sustainability projects one of them being the BlueGreen360 Hotel/Resort of the Year award and Leading CSR Program by Maldives Travel awards.
At Six Senses Laamu, they believe that the conservation of the natural environment of the Laamu Atoll depends on responsible actions and committed efforts of all, including hosts and guests and have invested in the preservation of this fragile ecosystem and the protection of vulnerable marine species, by developing, amongst others, sustainable marine-related guest activities.
During my stay, I met with the sustainability team, some of the 10 marine biologist and the Manta Trust Foundation. The resort’s ten-member marine biologist team is called Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI), which means ‘pearl’ in the local language Dhivehi), and carries out research, education and community work in pursuit of long-term conservation in Laamu Atoll.
I learned almost everything I needed to know to fall in love with the work they do here at Six Senses Laamu and the passion they have, Megan, the Sustainability Manager, aims to have zero plastic in Laamu atoll by 2022.
If you find yourself looking for ways to travel in a eco-friendly and sustainable way, always educate yourself and read more about how you can help.
Here are some ways you can observe and identify when a hotel is going sustainable:
- Conserving Energy
- Limit Water Waste
- Banning Plastic (Including straws)
- Serve Local and Organic Food
- Installing Eco-Friendly Filtered Water Dispensers
- Embracing Recycling
- Re-use Linens
Six Senses Laamu has 97 beachfront and water villas and 12 category room villas.
One of the incredible highlights of my day was that hammock in the water!
Taken at sunrise, the overwater villas at Six Senses Laamu
What you need to know about getting to Six Senses Laamu: It’s a 35 minute domestic (not seaplane) flight from Male to Kadhdhoo Airport. I was greeted at Male airport and escorted to the domestic flight waiting area. Once I landed in Kadhdoo Airport, I was picked up and it was another 20 minute boat ride to Six Senses Laamu.
I planned my arrival and departure timing backwards. Initially, I planned on landing in Male at 7am to take the first flight out to Laamu in order to reach the island before noon, but before I did that, I double checked the availability of the first flight time to Laamu and I was only able to get on the 11am flight, leaving me waiting at the airport for 4 hours. So, I saw no point in arriving early to Male and having to wait for 4 hours. Instead, I took the 4am flight to Maldives and arrives at 9:40 am, leaving only an hour before my departure to Six Senses Laamu. On the return, I chose to request for a late check out and the advantage of domestic flights is that unlike seaplanes, they also operate during the night, so, I opted for the late flight, giving me a full extra day on the beautiful island. The resort was fully cooperative and helpful and allowed me to move into another room for my late check out.
I arrived not too long after 1pm and was welcomed by most of the head of departments with a welcome drink in one hand and my camera in another, I was assigned to a GEM (Guest Experience Makers) to look after me during my stay. Arif gave me a minute tour of the island and checked me into my water villa where I had my very own personalized bicycle with my name initials on them.
What I Loved
- Barefoot Luxury Concept
- Private Sand bank location
- Close Proximity to Manta Point
- The Complimentary Ice Cream Bar from 1pm to 10pm
- The Marine Life In Six Senses is very much existing
- The Surf Option Activity
- The delicious food at Longitude Chill Bar ( Order the club sandwich, the calamari and the spicy chicken roll)
- The Vegan and Gluten Free Options ( They also make their own homemade coconut and almond milk!)
What You Need to Know
- Make sure you take the overnight flight to reach in the morning in order to make use of your full day
- Drones are not allowed unless you obtain permission before arrival
- The Den (Kids club) is open till 6pm
- Do not pack shoes, you will be walking barefoot throughout your whole stay
- Pack sunblock!
Working Towards Sustainability
- Six Senses Laamu make and bottle their own water by desalination of seawater.
- They are a member of The Long Run, a network of businesses committed to leveraging the power of their business for the health of the planet and the well-being of its people by adhering to the 4Cs: Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce
- The Eku Eky Program means ‘together’ in the local language of Dhivehi, and brings together all councils, schools, and NGOs in Laamu to work towards sustainable development and achieve environmental conservation
- Since 2017 we have been developing a biodiversity database, an inventory of corals, seagrasses, invertebrates, fish and megafauna present in Laamu atoll.
- ‘Turtles in Laamu – Safe and Protected’ is an annual festival with the objectives of raising awareness about the importance of sea turtles and pledging to never harm a turtle, a turtle nest, or turtle eggs. The 2017 festival brought together one resort, two NGOs, three local businesses, four government agencies, 10 island councils, 12 schools, and upwards of 1,000 people to make the pledge.
Working Towards Sustainability
- Six Senses has a Sustainability Fund, in which 0.5 percent of total revenues are allocated to sustainable development projects in the community. This fund has supported the research of the NGOs we partner with, and driven the important marine conservation work in Laamu. In addition, fifty-percent of water sales in all restaurant outlets goes into a fund specifically for projects providing clean, reliable drinking water to local communities in need.
- The MUI team conducts environmental education programs in local schools, covering topics of atoll formation, marine ecosystems, fisheries, climate change, waste management, and more.
- Their dive centre, Deep Blue Divers, has been Green Fins certified since 2016 and became a corporate partner of Reef World in 2017.
The view from the water villa
Guests are encouraged to use recycling bins
Cycling around the island is easy
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Room Service
- Ice Cream parlor which offers a variety of Ice Cream and Sorbets for all our in-house guests on a complimentary basis. Open daily from 12:30 until 10:30 pm
- Every nights Movie under the Stars. The movie is scheduled to start at 9:30 pm
- Catamaran sailing
- Paddle Boarding
- Wind surfing
- Group yoga classes
The over-water amenities facility of Six Senses Laamu is the largestin the Maldives, offering many options. In addition, organicmeals served around the organic garden on the island. The Chill bar was my favorite during the day and Longitude was another favorite at night, dinner is an a-la-carte international menu at Longitude of fresh catch, grilled meats, pastas and Asian flavors. Twice a week, the resort’s chefs create a unique buffet experience for guests, with local and fresh ingredients. Each Tuesday is a seafood buffet and an Asian buffet is featured on Fridays and not to be missed! Other restaurants include:
- Leaf, which is perched above the organic garden, talented chefs work with local ingredients sourced from Maldivian fishermen and farmers to create innovative dishes. The restaurant features an ever-changing Mediterranean menu for dinner.
- Sip Sip, a bar adjacent the poolside with a popular homemade pizza as specialty and delicious cocktails
- Chill Bar, a vietnamese menu throughout the day. every evening a resident Dj plays here
- Zen, a Japanese kitchen which has room for improvement but a great casual atmosphere
- Chilli Table, I was not able to experience the menu, but it is a five-course menu in the heart of the organic garden.
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