The belief that ecologically conscious developments cannot be beautiful and luxurious is so last century. One of the visionaries rewriting the rules is Evan Kwee, the man behind the Patina hotel and resort in the Maldivian Fari Islands. Kwee, who has partnered with The Rake, tells us about the new movement in hospitality.

While he has constructed the Maldives’ most talked about new resorts, situated on three reclaimed islands in a private atoll — reclaimed using the lowest-impact methods and comprising, at this stage, 190 villas as well as 20 studios — Evan Kwee is in fact the architect of a change that is not visible to the human eye. Not until you learn that the 25,000 trees at his Fari Islands development were all destined for clearcutting until he rescued and transplanted them. Not until you realise that the prefabrication construction techniques saved enough energy to power 300 homes for a year. Not until you recognise that of the 17 dining outlets available to guests at Fari Islands, it is Patina Maldives’ Roots — a plant-based, zero-waste kitchen — that Kwee is proudest of. While most hotel owners would be content to afford staff the minimal standard in liveable conditions, Kwee built a state-of-the-art staff campus, called the Fari Campus, on a fourth island, replete with the same-standard gym provided to guests and a theatre, and he will be offering a vocational training programme with the world’s most renowned hotel school, École Hôtelière de Lausanne.


August 2021

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