Surf and soak in Maldives’ first solar powered extravagant vacation hub

JUL 29, 2016 | By Tasneem Merchant
Every cottage offers panaromic views of the Indian Ocean from the personal deck. Of the 52 villas, 22 float on the waterbody while 30 are located on the private beach. Each dwelling is self-sufficient in terms of electricity.
In the past few years, the face of travel has changed immensely – from digital detoxes and adventure activities to health and wellness sojourns, tailor-made options to suit specific interests of tourists are more in demand. Those wary of the carbon footprint they leave behind when they head out for some R&R can heave a sigh of relief.
Club Med’s Finolhu Villas, on the Gasfinolhu Islands, Maldives, provides clean energy for their guests. What’s special about this place, in a nation best known for its indulgent retreats, is that it is the country’s first eco-sensitive luxury offering and runs entirely on the sun’s energy.
All 52 villas in the adults-only getaway are powered by solar panels spread across an area of 67,000 sq ft. The central ramp leading to the 22 rooms in the five hectare water lagoon is fitted with a roof of photovoltaic cells that generate electricity. The excess is stored in the event of cloudy days. New York based Yuji Yamazaki Architects and French interior designer Meriem Hall designed the five star huts with strategically placed remote controlled windows and wooden screens eliminating the need for air conditioners. However, being “green” did not compromise amenities – each villa has a private patio, pool, minibar and a personal butler too.
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