Alila Hotels and Resorts sets new Eco-Luxe Standards in the Maldives

Tuesday, 7 October 2008 21:33

Alila Hotels and Resorts is pleased to announce its first sustainable tourism resort development in the Maldives - Alila Villas Hadahaa. Slated to open in 2009, it is the first resort in the Maldives to commit to the standards of Green Globe throughout its design, construction stages. It achieved the prestigious Green Globe 'Building Planning and Design Standard' Certified Status in August 2008.

"By joining the internationally-recognized Green Globe program and committing to having both its design and operations certified, Alila Villas Hadahaa is raising the benchmark for others to follow," said Andre Russ, Head of Global Markets for Green Globe.

Green Globe is the international benchmarking and certification programme for the travel and tourism industry based on the Agenda 21 principles for Sustainable Development endorsed by 182 Heads of State at the United Nations Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Green Globe is managed by EC3 Global, a subsidiary of the Australian based research body Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre, the world's largest source of tourism research.

Alila Villas Hadahaa is set on the pristine tropical island of Hadahaa in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, surrounded by a vast expanse of sea, stunning coral reef, abundant fish life, and stands of the native Sea Trumpet and Sea Hearse. In developing the island, Alila kept to Green Globe's rigorous 'Building Planning and Design Standard' benchmarks and its own long-standing philosophy of luxury living in natural environments, while treading lightly to preserve the essence of a destination.

Reflecting Alila's vision of integrating commerce, conservation and community, the appointed architect, Yale-trained and Singapore-based Chan Soo Khian of SCDA Architects, creatively blended architecturally innovative designs in keeping to strict environmental standards. His design and construction blueprints were guided by Alila Villas Hadahaa's environmental impact studies.

Chan's sustainable design goals were to protect the environment and be as energy efficient as possible. To achieve these objectives, Chan orientated buildings to best deal with the tropical climate and natural environment of the island. Other innovations include rainwater harvesting, waste treatment plants, high roofed areas and open ceilings, cross ventilation in all indoor spaces, deep roof overhangs and windows shading. His concept of the resort, while contemporary in nature, makes use of many natural materials, including coconut, timber and coral stones found in the region.

Notably, the resort site will have a very low building and infrastructure coverage area. Only approximately 20% of the property will be built-up. Large areas of the site are designated for biodiversity protection, where native species will be selected and reintroduced to help maintain the existing gene pool. This will result in biodiversity replenishment, something vital to the area.

The $40 million resort will feature 14 Aqua Villas and 36 Island Villas, 20 of which come with a private pool. In-resort facilities and services include the Leisure Concierge, a dive centre, a tropical island garden spa, a fully-equipped gym, a Maldivian specialty fine dining restaurant, a rooftop lounge, the Alila Living boutique and a library with a star-gazing roof. All resort villas and facilities, strongly accented with Maldivian culture, are designed to integrate into the site as carefully as possible to preserve the natural beauty of the destination.

Sustainably planned and designed from the ground up, great care is now being taken in every detail of the construction of the resort to preserve the unique Maldivian experience and to ensure that environmental footprints are kept to a minimum. A local civil, building and labor contractor who is undertaking the major construction works will source construction materials locally wherever possible. Specifically, all building works of the jetty and Aqua Villas will only be carried out only during extreme low tides to minimize silt disturbance. There will be minimal site clearance as well, and to date, several villas were re-positioned during construction to preserve existing trees.

"I applaud Alila Villas Hadahaa for their commitment to a long term sustainable future with Green Globe and we take this opportunity to congratulate all those involved for their dedication and hard work," said Stewart Moore, Chief Executive Officer of EC3 Global.

By this commitment, Alila Villas Hadahaa is taking a leading role in helping to address the issues surrounding climate change and sustainability. It takes on a social responsibility beyond the design and construction stages to progressive operations. It will continuously monitor and assess the resort's operational efficiency, ultimately achieving the Green Globe Company Standard. Alila intends to bring the Maldivian destination experience to an unparalleled level.

Alila Villas Hadahaa represents Alila's next generation of luxury villa resorts that blend the ultimate in luxury with innovative lifestyle. Designed in harmony with its environment, Alila Villas are selectively developed to grace some of the most spectacular destinations in the world. Alila Hotels and Resorts is currently developing Alila Villas in Bali, India, Vietnam, Indochina, Oman and the Gulf regions.

Alila Hotels and Resorts currently manages seven hotels and resorts in Bali, Jakarta, Laos, Thailand and the Philippines. Many of these properties, including Alila Ubud and Alila Manggis, are well-known for their contributions to environmentally sustainable tourism. Both Alila Ubud and Alila Manggis achieved the Green Globe Certified Status in May 2007 and were conferred the inaugural Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards in November 2006 for their efforts and support towards responsible tourism in Asia.

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