The Island Resorts Protecting their Oceans

Lauren Hill

Senior Contributor

Escape to an island where the allure of escapism comes with the knowledge that the place you’re staying is benefitting its surroundings. These remote resorts are proving their dedication to preserving the environment by protecting the oceans around them.

Wa Ale Island Resort, Myanmar

A far-flung tropical idyll, Wa Ale lies within the Myeik, also known as Mergui, Archipelago, off the far south coast of Myanmar. Not only is the resort the only occupant of a 1,600-hectare island, it’s the only resort in a protected area covering more than 200 square kilometres - Lampi Marine National Park. As well as creating the sustainably built resort, the owners Christopher and Farina Kingsley established the Lampi Foundation. This initiative provides a platform for the resort’s efforts, and primary intention, of sustaining and protecting the national park and benefitting the local communities. On the marine side of this endeavour, Wa Ale has established projects such as building the national park’s first turtle hatchery. Exploration of the islands and surrounding sea is central to any stay on the island. Snorkel and dive over the reefs and into caves, then kayak and paddleboard through wild mangrove.

Wa Ale Resort, Myanmar

Bawah Reserve, Indonesia

Marine conservation is at the root of everything this resort does. More than just an island, Bawah Reserve encompasses six islands, which are now a designated marine conservation area, with three turquoise lagoons and 13 idyllic beaches. The Bawah Anambas Foundation operates alongside Bawah Reserve to conserve and develop the biodiversity of the Anambas Islands, while also benefitting the community with projects ranging from eco-awareness education to rehabilitating the coral reef and turtle conservation. You can experience this environment through kayaking and snorkelling excursions and treks through the forest. Each of the 35 overwater villas and beach and garden suites combine a focus on sustainability with barefoot luxury, while The Tree Top restaurant serves Asian-fusion dishes highlighting fresh local ingredients.
Bawah Reserve, Indonesia

andBeyond Mnemba Island, Zanzibar

In 2018, the experiential travel company andBeyond set up the marine conservation initiative, Oceans without Borders, to protect the oceans rich in marine life off Africa’s east coast. With a focus on the coastline stretching over more than 1,865 miles of the Indian Ocean, this project heightens the efforts of its three island resorts — andBeyond Mnemba Island, andBeyond Vamizi and andBeyond Benguerra Island — as well as the marine activities of andBeyond Phinda Game Reserve. Through this initiative, andBeyond Mnemba island is focusing on upgrading its marine conservation area. Positioned off the northeastern tip of Zanzibar, this island idyll provides a small collection of luxury bandas to stay in, with diving excursions from the PADI centre and romantic dinners on the beach.
andBeyond Mnemba Island, Zanzibar

Six Senses Laamu, Maldives

Six Senses is a hotel brand known for its focus on conservation and sustainability. At Six Senses Laamu, much of this focus falls on the marine environment. This is partly achieved through inspiring guests and the local community to promote the importance of protecting our oceans, but the marine team also embarks on projects in grouper fisheries research, manta ray conservation, turtle hatching research and dolphin surveying. Sustainability can be seen throughout the resort’s design and operations, which naturally comes hand in hand with the level of luxury you expect to find in the Maldives. Ocean villas sit over the water, restaurants and bars serve fresh seafood and cocktails with ocean views, and the spa offers meditation and yoga sessions as well as nourishing treatments.

Six Senses Laamu, Maldives

North Island Seychelles

North Island’s story began with the complete rehabilitation of the tiny island, bringing back the flora and fauna that make it the wild paradise you can now experience. Over decades, the island has seen a revival of its extraordinary biodiversity through what has been named the Noah’s Ark conservation programme. Giant tortoises roam the forest, turtles nest on the shores and the Seychelles’ endemic birds dart between the trees. This philosophy naturally extends to the ocean. The island resort aims to establish the area as an Ecological Marine Reserve to further protect the marine environment from fishing and harmful marine activities, supporting the initiative by collecting data for marine research. As well as being strong on sustainability, the resort itself is the ultimate in luxury, with sprawling beach villas, an oceanfront restaurant and bar, infinity pool and experiences that introduce you to the pristine environment.

North Island Resort, Seychelles

Petit St. Vincent Private Island

Conservation and sustainability play a prominent role at this private island resort in the Grenadines. On-island efforts such as desalinating ocean water, recycling and growing produce in the chef’s garden are complemented by projects such as coral reef restoration. See the results of some of this work by snorkelling over the island’s coral nursery. The island itself consists of 115 acres of lush, undulating land fringed with white-sand shores. You can stay in a cottage or beach villa facing out to sea, dine on fresh lobster cooked over the grill and try activities both in the water and on land. Opened in the name of ocean explorer and marine conservationist, Jean-Michel Cousteau, the island’s dive centre provides exploration of the waters this island takes pride in protecting.
Petit St. Vincent

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