World's Best Eco-Spas

by Madhu Puri

Vabbinfaru, Maldives

The spa: Banyan Tree Maldives Vabbinfaru

Green peace: For Banyan Tree, going green made good business sense: The resort is located at a top dive site, so protecting the ocean environment was crucial. The efforts started with construction: building materials arrived via small boats so as not to disturb the shallow-water marine life, and villas were constructed on the footprint of the island's previous property to preserve trees and prevent beach erosion. Today, an on-site marine lab assists in coral regeneration and the conservation of green sea turtles. Guests can help too by documenting sea species that are on the verge of extinction. Any oil used for power is piped in, so oil tankers stay far from shore, and water is filtered through an ecologically sound desalination process. But there's no need to stress over your CFCs and VOCs: The green factor is just a subtle current in an all-around luxury-focused experience. So as you lie under a thatched-roof cabana while a masseuse uses herb-filled pouches to rub your body with warm sesame oil, there's no need to curb your appetite for excessive well-being.

Signature treatment: The Javanese Lulur, a 17th-century pre-wedding practice, starts with a deep-tissue massage followed by a turmeric scrub and cool yogurt splash for the skin ($205).

Banyan Tree Maldives
Tel: 960 664 3147
Villas start from $1050

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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