For our Maldives eco-resort stay, we’ve chosen the excellent Barefoot Eco Hotel on the north Maldives island of Hanimadhoo. This is a ‘local’ island as opposed to a private resort island, and so the unique Barefoot forms a stepping stone between village guesthouses and the more well-known luxury resorts and provides a lot more than just your traditional Maldives sun, sea and sand holiday. This 4* eco-resort offers the experience, service and comfort levels of a traditional Maldives resort along with the opportunity to explore the island and experience local life and culture.
All activities offered are under the supervision of the Conservation Center and resident marine biologist, and have been developed both to reduce environmental impact and also to contribute to the monitoring of biodiversity, and the local community’s economy. Guests have the chance to actively participate in the process, for example joining the “conservation snorkelling” (dolphin/manta or turtle). There are also evening presentations, given for locals and hotel guests alike, should you wish to learn more about the local and global marine life and conservation efforts.
Note, although we’d originally designed this island stay as an add-on to our Sri Lanka itineraries, the Maldives are very easily added to any of our Southeast Asian tours. As well as being less than an hour’s flight from Colombo, the islands are situated approximately half-way between Dubai and Bangkok, and offer excellent flight connections.