Furanafushi Island, where Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is located, is celebrating its 50th anniversary, reflecting on the dramatic transformation of the country’s tourism landscape and the ways in which it continues to support both the preservation of the natural elements and the growth of the local community.
The Maldives, once a secluded and undiscovered destination in the Indian Ocean, has transformed into a world-class hospitality hub, home to authentic displays of culture and some of the industry’s most innovative eco-conscious solutions.
The Maldivian archipelago, consisting of almost 1,200 tiny, pristine islands, was first introduced to the world as a travel hot spot in the early 1970s, with almost no tourism infrastructure and hardly any investment as a destination. Today, the Maldives has become synonymous with barefoot luxury, secluded retreats, and breathtaking scenery.
Furanafushi Island holds a storied history, initially serving as a picnic destination for residents of Malé before being transformed into a resort. In December 1973, the island welcomed the 56-key Sheraton Maldives, originally named Furana, as the fifth resort in the entire Maldivian archipelago. In April 1976, the island resort moved under the management of Wayne Reid, one of Australia’s best-known sports administrators, in a five-year lease that served as a catalyst for an influx of investment and expansion.
The early days of Furanafushi and Sheraton Maldives Resort & Spa are a testament to the growth of the island and its ongoing influence on the appeal of the Maldives as a bucket list travel destination. As the resort evolves with the industry, it maintains its heritage and remains dedicated to preserving both its own history and the history of its surroundings.
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa recognizes its role as a leader in local, regional, and global hospitality, supporting the community it operates in, positively impacting island life and consciously developing solutions that preserve the island’s natural elements. To foster meaningful connections within the local community, the resort consistently extends invitations to schools, providing students with valuable insights into the dynamic world of the hospitality industry. This initiative not only aligns with their career aspirations but also serves as a platform to introduce them to the resort’s commitment to sustainability.
In an effort to protect the resort’s natural surroundings and the island it calls home, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has also implemented several sustainable initiatives. The famous Adopt A Coral program encourages guests to get involved in the art of coral preservation. Over 6,000 coral fragments from 15 different coral species rescued from Gulhi Falhu have been given a second chance to thrive and have been transplanted on coral pyramids at the resort. The resort is also committed to reducing plastic waste via its innovative water bottling plant initiative. The hotel’s water bottling facility uses cutting-edge reverse osmosis technology to purify seawater, eliminating the need for water transportation from the mainland.
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa remains ahead of the hospitality curve in terms of sustainability initiatives, leveraging its synergetic relationship with the natural surroundings to educate guests and elevate its Eco-conscious offerings. The resort embraces modern technology to contribute to its efforts, including using AI-powered cameras to identify areas of food waste disposal, innovative Air Conditioning Systems that automatically adapt room temperatures to reduce energy consumption, and gardens that produce vegetables and herbs, as well as watermelon and cucumber crops.
Looking forward, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is shaping a world where environmental awareness is naturally integrated into daily lives, championing the preservation of the natural island as it looks forward to its brighter, greener future. The resort is planning to implement a biogas plant to transform food waste into gas for kitchen stoves and a vibrant chicken farm to produce organic eggs and meat on-site.
To honor the history of Furanafushi and highlight the culture of the residents, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa stands as a beacon of authentic Maldivian hospitality, inviting guests and residents alike to join its journey of tropical transformation as it seeks to maintain its original beauty while cultivating new ways of discovering true paradise.