Lonely Planet Writer

Four Seasons is opening its first private island hotel in a World Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives

Starting in late 2016, luxury travellers will be able to stay on a private island in the Maldives located in a World Biosphere Reserve.

Four Seasons Private Island Maldives will open at Voavah, Baa Atoll.
Four Seasons Private Island Maldives will open at Voavah, Baa Atoll. Image by Four Seasons

Four Seasons hotels’ new island retreat called Voavah is the company’s first private island accommodation and “the world’s only exclusive-use Unesco hideaway located in a World Biosphere Reserve”. Located on a five-acre island, the Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, Baa Atoll can accommodate up to 22 guests “on an exclusive basis”. On the secluded island, the hotel’s guests will have access to seven bedrooms, a beach house, a dive centre, a spa and a 62-foot yacht to explore the biosphere reserve. The beach house includes an open-air living room, a dining room, kitchen, pool deck, library and loft lounge and the bedrooms are located in three locations, on the beach, over a lagoon, or in mezzanine suites.

A rendering of the three-bedroom Beach Villa.
A rendering of the three-bedroom Beach Villa. Image by Four Seasons

Baa Atoll was named the Indian Ocean’s first Unesco Biosphere Reserve in 2011 and spans 1,200 square kilometres, or 463 square miles, and includes 75 islands. According to the company, guests can explore the Unesco territory, “guided by a team that has already spent a decade protecting it”. The company, which has other hotels in the Maldives, has partnered with a local environmental consultancy agency and a manta ray project to support conservation, cultural, health and education initiatives, such as a coral propagations project, fish-breeding programs and more.

A rendering of the Voavah Beach House.
A rendering of the Voavah Beach House. Image by Four Seasons

While staying on the private island, which can be can accessed by a 40-minute seaplane from the Malé International Airport, or a 20-minute speedboat ride, guests can take part in activities like diving with whale sharks, snorkelling, swimming, fishing, visiting local islands, surfing and more. Since the private island is no doubt quite luxurious, the company is promoting it as a neighbour- and paparazzi-free area where guests could  “create one-of-a-kind birthday surprises and celebrations, fly in big name acts or create their own mini music festival or beach party, all perfected with a sprinkling of Voavah magic”.