Solar-powered floating island resort coming to Maldivian and Tunisian waters

by Tom Anstey | 18 Mar 2014

Italian designer Michele Puzzolante of MPD Designs has designed a new concept resort called the Solar Floating Island (SFI) – a totally self sufficient energy generator, which will use solar energy as its sole source of power.

The entire resort, constructed of floating pontoons, includes a five-star, 54-bedroom luxury hotel consisting of a 410sq m (4,413sq ft) spa and wellness centre offering a range of massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, body wraps, body exfoliations and hair styling services, in addition to a 150sq m (1,614sq ft) boutique area.

Also included will be more than 700sq m (7,534sq ft) of event space with four conference rooms, a restaurant, bar and VIP lounge, marina, underwater restaurant, underwater bar, three mini airports/heliports, staff accommodation and 20 private villas.

Individual villas would include outdoor decking, dining facilities and an underwater “observation bulb” that would allow guests to admire sea life in the privacy of their own room.

The SFI features a thin-film solar skin applied to a lightweight balsa-reinforced fiberglass hull. The rounded shape of the vessel provides constant exposure to the sun, charging the batteries during daylight hours to supply enough clean energy to last through the night.

All parts of the resort will be constructed separately in a factory, before being transported by containers to the site with the entire ‘Lego-esque’ assembly process only taking a few weeks to complete.

Previous plans for floating island concepts, including a golf course and an underwater hotel, have been announced, but never anything that would run solely off the sun’s power.

Puzzolante estimates the entire development could be built for US$145m (£87m, €104m) and the concept has received full support from Maldives’ president Abdulla Yameen. The first SFI construction is planned to take place in the next few months.

Speaking to Spa Business, Puzzolante said: "This will mark the beginning of a new era of hospitality – a totally self sufficient and ecological energy generator and resort."

Puzzolante also revealed that Albader Trading Group (ATG), represented by CEO Dr Salam Al-Bader, has been chosen to develop SFI as a worldwide brand and that SFI resorts have been commissioned by both the Maldivian and Tunisian governments, with the first thought to be soon underway.

Italian designer Michele Puzzolante of MPD Designs has designed a new concept resort called the Solar Floating Island (SFI) – a totally self sufficient energy generator, which will use solar energy as its sole source of power. The entire resort, constructed of floating pontoons, includes a five-star, 54-bedroom luxury hotel consisting of a 410sq m (4,413sq ft) spa and wellness centre offering a range of massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, body
SAB,HHR,HOT,PRO,ARC,DES,ECO,CLD,SWC
Individual villas would include outdoor decking, dining facilities and an underwater “observation bulb” / MPD Designs
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