Holiday Destinations

Finolhu Villas: Solar-powered vacations for the well-heeled

The Finolhu Villas project s self-sufficient in electricity thanks to a total of 67,000 sq ft (6,224 sq m) of photovoltaic panels and a large battery array.
The Finolhu Villas project s self-sufficient in electricity thanks to a total of 67,000 sq ft (6,224 sq m) of photovoltaic panels and a large battery array.
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The Finolhu Villas project was designed by New York architecture firm Yuji Yamazaki Architecture (YYA)
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The Finolhu Villas project was designed by New York architecture firm Yuji Yamazaki Architecture (YYA)
Some 67,000 sq ft (6,224 sq m) of solar panels, coupled with a large storage battery array, together serve all the resort's electricity needs
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Some 67,000 sq ft (6,224 sq m) of solar panels, coupled with a large storage battery array, together serve all the resort's electricity needs
Situated on the island of Gasfinolhu, which measures just 5 hectares (12.3 acres), the development is home to 100 staff and 100 visitors, year-round
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Situated on the island of Gasfinolhu, which measures just 5 hectares (12.3 acres), the development is home to 100 staff and 100 visitors, year-round
The Finolhu Villas project's photovoltaic panels are reported to generate more electricity than is needed by the resort
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The Finolhu Villas project's photovoltaic panels are reported to generate more electricity than is needed by the resort
Obviously, taking a tropical paradise and developing it for tourists isn't "sustainable" by any rational yardstick, but the resort is self-sufficient in electricity requirements
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Obviously, taking a tropical paradise and developing it for tourists isn't "sustainable" by any rational yardstick, but the resort is self-sufficient in electricity requirements
A typical villa on the resort measures a total of 168 sq m (1,807 sq ft), and is located a stone's throw from the beach
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A typical villa on the resort measures a total of 168 sq m (1,807 sq ft), and is located a stone's throw from the beach
The villas also boast strategically-placed operable windows and wooden shade screens
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The villas also boast strategically-placed operable windows and wooden shade screens
Rates at the hotel naturally depend on time of year and length of stay
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Rates at the hotel naturally depend on time of year and length of stay
Architectural drawing of the project
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Architectural drawing of the project
A typical villa on the resort measures a total of 168 sq m (1,807 sq ft), and is located a stone's throw from the beach
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A typical villa on the resort measures a total of 168 sq m (1,807 sq ft), and is located a stone's throw from the beach
The Finolhu Villas project s self-sufficient in electricity thanks to a total of 67,000 sq ft (6,224 sq m) of photovoltaic panels and a large battery array.
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The Finolhu Villas project s self-sufficient in electricity thanks to a total of 67,000 sq ft (6,224 sq m) of photovoltaic panels and a large battery array.
Situated on the island of Gasfinolhu, which measures just 5 hectares (12.3 acres), the development is home to 100 staff and 100 visitors, year-round
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Situated on the island of Gasfinolhu, which measures just 5 hectares (12.3 acres), the development is home to 100 staff and 100 visitors, year-round
It will only take around eight years for the solar investment to pay for itself with money saved from not having to import diesel fuel to run generators
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It will only take around eight years for the solar investment to pay for itself with money saved from not having to import diesel fuel to run generators

The Maldives isn't exactly lacking in novel luxury hotels, but well-heeled travelers with a view to mitigate their carbon footprint can now check into what's being promoted as the Maldives' first entirely solar-powered five star resort. Finolhu Villas comprises 52 solar-powered villas located on an exclusive island in the Indian Ocean.

The Finolhu Villas project was designed by New York firm Yuji Yamazaki Architecture (YYA) and completed earlier this year. Situated on the island of Gasfinolhu, which measures just 5 hectares (12.3 acres), the development is home to up to 100 staff and a like number of visitors, year-round.

A typical villa on the resort measures a total of 168 sq m (1,807 sq ft), and is located a stone's throw from the beach. The interior includes a lounge, patio, private pool, dressing room, and the all-important minibar. The villas also feature strategically-placed operable windows and wooden shade screens. This presumably does the trick, as YYA reports that guests don't usually require air-conditioning.

Rates at the hotel naturally depend on time of year and length of stay
Rates at the hotel naturally depend on time of year and length of stay

While taking a stretch of unspoiled tropical island paradise and developing it for tourists isn't really environmentally-friendly or low-impact in any real sense, the resort is self-sufficient in electricity thanks to a total of 67,000 sq ft (6,224 sq m) of photovoltaic panels and a large battery array.

Indeed, there's actually a surplus of juice left over, and the resort expects the solar tech to have paid for itself (with money saved from not having to import diesel fuel to run generators) within eight years.

Rates at the hotel depend on time of year and length of vacation, but when Gizmag quickly attempted to book a week's stay for two adults, we were quoted a cool AUD15,000 (roughly US$10,000). Ah well, maybe next year ...

Sources: YYA, Club Med, via Arch Daily

6 comments
ash
carbon neutral if the guests swim to the maldives perhaps
Stephen N Russell
Replicate for these venues: Hawaii Australia PNG Caribbean Med Sea Red Sea Azores Is. Fiji. Bora Bora. Cuba? off Brazil.
CharlieSeattle
Are the guests required to swim there or can they still fly a jet halfway around the world spewing carbon all the way?
Lightwave
Maybe in eight years they can come down on the rent just a scosche to accomodate the LESS well heeled...
windykites
What a lot of wet blanket comments, apart from Stephen. I trust Charlie and ash travel everywhere by bicycle, if that makes them feel smug. I was surprised to read there was a surplus of electricity. No need for that. They're just needs to be a supply sufficient for the needs of the resort. Where does the surplus of electricity go to? I like the use of solar panels for shading the walkways. This looks like a place for people who don't like to do much. There does not look to be much in the way of entertainment, but it is a beautiful location.
sk8dad
The well-heeled are so typically carbon conscious. Fly halfway around the world to stay beach-front so you could soak in a pool? First world problems are getting out of hand.