Four Seasons Private Island: The evolution of luxury resort collection to marine conservation pioneers

Imagine an exclusive-use island in the Maldives’ only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that pioneers both marine-enhancing conservation and life-enriching connections: a pinnacle in luxury travel that doesn’t so much as curate experiences for guests as let them create their own…

Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll is the evolved realisation of two decades of development and dreaming: of preserving the most protected UNESCO waters in one of the world’s least explored (and most environmentally threatened) countries, while plunging high-end travellers into the deepest immersions of surroundings and self.

As the first luxury operators in the Maldives some 20 years ago, forward-thinking Four Seasons Resorts Maldives has been paving the “experiential travel” way with interactive conservation initiatives long before they became mainstream. And as the scale and scope of its collection has expanded, so too has the depth and breadth of its preservation programs.

Today, the opportunities available at the seven-bedroom, exclusive-use Voavah Private Island – the fourth offering in the Four Seasons Maldives Collection – are the perfect ode to the very ethos of its UNESCO Biosphere Reserve surroundings: a place where man and nature unite in harmony, interconnecting and protecting.  

“Nothing about Voavah is one-dimensional,” explains Senior Director of Marketing Lizah Bywater. ”It is mindful luxury conceived to expand horizons, spark influence and innovation, and so, continue the evolution.”

How is this achieved?  By giving Voavah guests an all-access pass to pick encounters that move them, magnify awareness, and elevate their consciousness.  

Located in Maldives only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, guests have ground-breaking access to the experts who have spent more than a decade protecting, navigating and supporting the region: 15 full time marine biologists and Manta Trust scientists building coral frames, rehabilitating turtles and identifying the world’s largest known manta population; intuitive therapists inspiring wide-reaching change in The Ocean of Consciousness Spa; star gazing gurus and local culture specialists, eager to open inquisitive eyes to the Maldives beyond the tourist islands; and many more.

Every marine conservation project, run as Marine Savers, has been a partnership between Four Seasons, guests, Seamarc Pvt., and the Indian Ocean and the Maldivian authorities, including the Ministries of Environment and Energy, Fisheries and Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Largely inspired by guests, Four Seasons Marine Discovery Centres have, to date: released and rehabilitated more than 170 turtles following entanglement in ghost nets; transplanted 100,000 coral fragments to boost ailing reefs; identified more than 2,000 turtles and 4,300 manta rays; created 40 fish tanks, eight larvae tanks and two plankton reactors to replenish ocean life – and contributed nearly two decades of research, education and conservation, including the photo-identification, satellite tracking, nest protection, and hand rearing of sea turtles, and the founding project of the now world-renowned Manta Trust charity.

With perfect timing on September 12, 2017 to coincide with the PURE Life Experiences show and draw attention to her species’ plight, Elsa – a female juvenile olive ridley turtle and long-term resident of Four Seasons Resorts Maldives Sea Turtle Conservation Program – will become the fifth “flying turtle” to travel from Four Seasons Maldives by plane to begin a new life overseas at St. Petersburg’s Planeta-Neptun, Russia’s first Oceanarium.

“The historic journeys of ‘flying turtles’ like Elsa – two years in the making and after three years of care in our Turtle Rehabilitation Centres – epitomises the evolution of our Resorts,” continues Bywater. “Every property, no matter how luxurious, has a responsibility to protect its surroundings and as our collection has evolved, so too has the seriousness of our conservation projects. With Voavah guests now poised to inspire even greater evolutions, we’re excited to see what the future will bring.”

Four Seasons Private Island Maldives presents “Breath of Voavah” by Recording Artist Prem Joshua

Inspired by Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the new 12-track collection Breath of Voavah by Prem Joshua captures the soul of one of the world’s most pristine locations.

Melodies whisper the secrets of the Indian Ocean while honeyed harmonies trace nature’s subtlest and most sublime features – from the ripple of a fish in the lagoon to a flash of sunlight between swaying palms.

Four Seasons Private Island Maldives, Voavah
Four Seasons Private Island Maldives

Born out of Prem’s own visit, it’s an ingenious interpretation of the sights, sensations and spirit of the Maldives designed to leave guests tingling from their ears to their toes. To create the album, he worked closely with fellow musician and co-composer Dondieu Divin and invited a number of talented friends to contribute: Raul Sengupta’s darbouka on Voavah Metro Station and shaker and tabla on Banyan Birds; Sandhya Sanjana’s vocals on A Spoonful of Infinity and Under the Mangrove Tree; Sanou Olszewski’s vocals on Bharata Blues and Vasundhara; and Francky Moulet’s electric guitar on James Baba.

Recalling his visit to Voavah and how it inspired him, Prem shared, “The incredible beauty and purity of nature is overwhelming. But the secret of this place is the people – their warmth, liveliness, smiles, laughter, dignity, honesty, kindness and contentment. With this album I want to return exactly these impressions and secrets in the form of contemporary music – the ever-changing colours of the endless sea, from a gentle breeze to a sudden storm, the warm rain on our skin, the night sky, the jungle birds in the trees, and again and again the friendly smiles of the people.”

“It was an honour to have Prem Joshua visit us,” comments Regional Vice President Armando Kraenzlin. “Our Maldivian Resorts have long aligned with Prem’s music, with it frequently appearing on our restaurant playlists, so to have him visit personally to capture Voavah’s essence in the form of a bespoke compilation is a very special thing.”

About Prem Joshua & Band

Prem Joshua & Band are pioneers of a crossover sound that is nestled at the cusp of Eastern tradition and Western innovation. With a soul-searching and dexterous blend of sounds and instruments, the music draws the listener into an emotionally rewarding journey across diverse musical landscapes. Elegant and contemporary, Prem Joshua & Band have consistently awed audiences with their virtuosity and confidence to create an experience that shall long outlive the classifications of genre or time.

Breath of Voavah is available to purchase from the Spa and Resort shops at Four Seasons Resorts Maldives.  The CD will also feature in all rooms and suites across Four Seasons Resorts Maldives.