The Maldives is a nation comprised of hundreds of tiny islands situated off the coast of India and Sri Lanka. They are popular for tourism due to their spectacular turquoise waters and luxurious seclusion. Of course, that surreal landscape is partly due to the islands being the lowest on the planet. Averaging between around four to seven feet above sea level, the country is at dire risk of being lost forever due to climate change. In response, Club Med has opened a resort that sets an example: It's 100% solar-powered.
The 13-acre island comprising Finolhu Villas generates a megawatt of power on the average day, which is more than enough to provide electricity for the 100 guests and 100 staffers. Solar panels are built right into the resort's design, as glimpsed in the undulating walkways that connect the private villas.
It's not just the panels that contribute to the eco-friendliness, though. Each room is subtly designed to use as little energy as possible. For example, windows are strategically placed and decorated to invite ocean breezes in while blocking the sun's warm rays. That way, guests stay pleasantly cool without having to rely on blasts of AC.The architect, Yuji Yamazaki, has said he wanted to complement the landscape, crafting a resort that blended seamlessly into the structure of the island. "It is impossible to recreate nature, but we tried our best," Yamazaki explained. "When you have a beautiful and unique site like this, you want to just preserve it. Hopefully our new landscape will seamlessly blend with what was there before."