Six Senses Laamu

LAAMU ATOLL, THE MALDIVES

Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the southern Maldives Laamu Atoll. This Atoll covers approximately 350 squares miles and lies deep within the Indian Ocean. Beautifully remote, yet easily accessible by a quick 50-minute plane and boat ride from Malé International Airport, Six Senses Laamu is set in a lagoon where dolphins swim along the sandy shoreline and provides a combination of on-land and over-water villas constructed of sustainable materials set around the palm-fringed paradise. There is a choice of overwater lounges and restaurants, all serving produce grown in the islands organic gardens, as well as varied and exciting excursion experiences.

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Six Senses Resorts hold conservation, sustainability and respect of the local cultures as their core values. This is spearheaded by the successful strategy implemented at Laamu Resort, which embodies a Local Sensitivity, Global Sensibility philosophy. Zero-waste policy, purchase of local goods and products, and great care taken over the surrounding marine environment, including coral reefs, dolphins and turtles, are examples of the strategy adopted by Laamu to ensure the philosophy is followed through.

 

There are 97 beachfront and water villas, carefully designed to complement the outstanding natural beauty of the island. They offer privacy, cosiness and luxury. True to the Six Sensesphilosophy of being in harmony with the environment, the villas are crafted from local and sustainable materials.

 

Alongside enjoying the organic culinary delights, prepared straight from the local fisheries and the organic garden on the island, it is possible for guests to immerse themselves in a plethora of unique experiences. Activities include diving, snorkelling, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, fishing, wine-tasting, sunrise walks and relaxing at the spa. The Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas are synonymous with luxury and found around the world, from Vietnam to Portugal. They offer a range of treatments and give exceptional guest experiences.

 

www.sixsenses.com/resorts/laamu

The 4Cs

Six Senses Laamu joined The Long Run in 2017 and committed to a holistic balance of the 4Cs – Conservation, Community, Culture, and Commerce – as a means to contribute meaningfully to the biodiversity and the people of their local region.

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CONSERVATION

To protect the environment, Six Senses Laamu, employs six marine biologists, including two resident marine biologists, and two marine biologists each from two UK-based NGOs, Manta Trust and Blue Marine Foundation. The research of the entire marine team provides further understanding of Laamus rich biodiversity and gathers data to support the long-term goal of creating marine reserves. In 2014, the resort created the countrys first ever Dolphin Watching Code of Conduct, which is now nationally accepted, as well as a Turtle Interaction Code of Conduct. Through its Green Fins membership, the resort adheres to a policy of take nothing and leave nothingwith divers and snorkelers, and is currently translating awareness materials into Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.

 

Six Senses Laamu promotes a sense of environmental responsibility in hosts through its trainings in topics such as marine life and zero-waste. Hosts sign a contract promising to protect the natural environment, and specifically that they agree not to catch, kill or eat turtles. Although it sources much of its seafood locally, the resort also enforces a no-takepolicy on the purchase of endangered or vulnerable fish species from local fisherman.

 

COMMUNITY

Six Senses Laamu operates in harmony with the surrounding natural environment and local community. They make and bottle their own water through reverse osmosis filtration and treat wastewater so it can be reused for landscaping. The resort embodies a Waste to Wealthphilosophy by repurposing materials as much as possible into the Earth Lab, where innovative approaches are used to reduce resource footprint. Glass is crushed into sand and used for constructing bricks, light covers and flower pots. Waste wood is burned in a charcoal oven and used for beach barbeques. Coconut husks are composted into fertilizers for use in the organic garden.

 

By working together with the island councils, community members, and school children, Six Senses wants to present alternatives to common single-use plastic items, such as water bottles and plastic bags, to help it achieve the goal of being plastic-free by 2022. The effort to eliminate plastic water bottles is not possible without ensuring a reliable source of clean water, so the plastic-free initiative goes hand-in-hand with access to drinking water.

 

A long-term goal of the atoll is also to establish marine reserves in Laamu and raise awareness through education programmes on the importance of these marine reserves, aimed at guests, hosts, school children and community members. This is partially done through quarterly outreach meetings with the island and Atoll councils, also known as the Eku-Ekyprogramme, meaning togetherin the local . The 100+ hours of discussions so far have included topics such as waste management, sustainable fishing, and employment opportunities.

CULTURE

Six Senses Laamu wants to be part of a responsible and caring community, this requires not just the conservation of the natural environment, but cooperation with the local community and incorporation of local cultures into their business practices.

 

Six Senses Laamu does preserves Maldivian culture by sourcing many local products, such as cadjan coconut leaf roofing, woven by local women, to match the style of traditional homes in Maldives. They also purchase fish from local fishermen and the zero-waste tuna factory located right here in Laamu Atoll, as well as local Maldivian coconut oil for the spa. Locals perform traditional bodu berufor guests, a traditional drum and dance music, and offer excursions to local islands for a peek into the authentic Maldivian lifestyle.

 

COMMERCE

The total population of Laamu Atoll is about 18,000. Six Senses Laamu employs around 381 staff, 152 of which are from Laamu. Other than employment, Six Senses is also dedicated to improving capacity-building within the community. For example, they teach women to make reusable bags from old clothes, empowering them to provide for their own community and eradicating the need for single-use plastic bags.

 

0.5% of revenue and any guest donations are allocated to a Sustainability Fund that is spent on sustainable development projects within the community. Six Senses Laamu has now assisted several different construction projects on local islands around Laamu, including sand bags and roofing for a school, cement and timber for a mosque, aggregate for a harbor, lights for an airport, and metal for a waste management center. This fund also supports the conservation partnerships with the two NGOs, Manta Trust, and Blue Marine Foundation. In addition, 50% of water sales in all restaurant outlets goes into a fund specifically for projects providing clean, healthy drinking water to local communities in need.

 

In 2016, Six Senses Laamu partnered with the local Police service to organize the first ever turtle conservation festival held in Laamu. The event brought together 600 people, including students from 5 of the atolls schools, to participate in traditional performances, educational stalls, and art contests. The aims of the festival were to raise awareness of the importance of turtles, and pledge to never harm one. The 2017 festival is now being organized, with the goal of reiterating this message and getting participation from all 11 inhabited islands and all 13 schools in the atoll. These festivals are a source of both education and income for the local communities.

 

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