Please tell me you’re one of those people who has either been or is eventually going to visit the Maldives. This country is one of my favorites for so many reasons. Beyond the beach, beyond the seaplanes and beyond the hospitality, lies an Islamic culture that is so rich and sweet. I love that the Maldives is a Muslim country but yet is accepting of their tourism culture where seeing tourists in bathing suits and bikinis is also a part of the culture. Back in 2017, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Maldivian Youth in Malé, and was truly fascinated by their inquisitive personalities and curiosity about my Expedition.
The Maldives is expected to reach over 7.5 million visitors by 2018, and are needing to expand with the rapidly increasing hunger for tourists to want to dip their toes in the pristine sand. With that said, there is a very devastating side to the country in that climate change is surely taking its toll. Most of the hotels and resorts pay no attention to the rapidly decreasing effects of their countries natural resources, and this proves to be a massive concern in the long run. I’ll get into this a bit deeper down below. For now, I do want to mention that The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi does not disappoint when it comes to luxury and amenities. It was also just a boat ride away from the main island, which was nice and easy (as opposed to taking a sea plane).
Overall, I enjoyed myself and the villa.The Maldives is a wonderful Honeymoon or vacation spot, I even didn’t mind basking in the relaxation being alone! But do keep in mind the environmental effects of whichever resort you do choose to stay.
The overall rating that I gave The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi was an 8/10.
What I loved: The villas, especially the outdoor shower and bath was refreshing. My own cabaña on the beach as well as beach chairs was great. It was almost as though I had my own private beach. The spa was nice and massage was a relaxing one. The gym was beautiful and had everything one would need to immerse themselves in nature while staying on track! The pools were nice
What Set It Back: There were zero sustainable or responsible tourism efforts made by the hotel. The Maldives especially really needs to focus on this massive issue of environmental degradation from pollution made by may of these hotels. I also had an issue with privacy in that, there wasn’t much between my villa and the two beside me. My neighbors would stare at me as I was sunbathing through the thinly lined bushes that separated us and it left me feeling uncomfortable. I could also hear the children loudly playing all of the time. If you’re a family then this place would be more for you I reckon. The all-inclusive dining became a little too repetitive after a several days, and I would have liked more (healthier) options. Again, lots of kids around, which was not my cup of tea as a solo traveler.
Overall: In all honesty, I’d consider one of the other (many) hotels that provide the same luxury, but are more sustainable and energy efficient. For the sake of the people of the Maldives who face an imminent threat of rising sea levels.
What makes a sustainable or regenerative hotel? A reverse osmosis water system, farm to table produce, supporting local dairy and meat farmers, engaging with local non-profit or community organization endeavors to address an issue within the country or community, energy efficient lighting, low pressure water systems, recycling, employing locals and offering fair and equal pay, replanting what was lost during the construction, use of biofuel (for boats), engaging guests in local cultural experiences and making them aware of environmental and cultural needs, LEED Certification, educating staff on importance of sustainability (turning off lights, observing for wasteful practices, etc.), reducing bathroom amenities waste (using bamboo toothbrushes instead, locally made/organic soap, shampoo and conditioner that help the environment), the list goes on.