Baros Maldives has come up with an extra-special — and permanent — way to thank pandemic healthcare workers.

By Meena Thiruvengadam
October 28, 2020
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Credit: Baros Maldives

An idyllic private island resort in the Maldives has created a one-of-a-kind tribute to essential pandemic workers. 

While it was closed for the past several months, Baros Maldives, which sits on its own island and features 75 overwater and beachside villas, was busy harvesting fragments of living coral that had broken off from nearby reefs. Their mission: to use the coral to write “Thank You Heroes” in the resort’s lagoon. 

Credit: Baros Maldives

Baros has been working to regenerate the natural coral surrounding it for more than a decade. The property has saved enough coral over the years to regenerate hundreds of reefs, creating new habitats for fish and other invertebrates. Guests can sponsor reefs for $150 per person and work with the resort’s marine biologists to collect bits of coral to add to regenerating reefs, a resort spokesperson said. 

While it can take years for coral to form a message like the one Baros created during the pandemic, the words “Thank You Heroes” is already visible from above. 

Because the coral will continue to grow indefinitely, the resort’s management sees the project as a permanent way to acknowledge the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who have been guiding the world through the coronavirus pandemic. The project is one way to remember the visible compassion, unity, and kindness people have showed one another during the pandemic, resort manager Ibrahim Shijah said.  

The resort, which reopened on Oct. 1, is also offering healthcare workers who book stays at the resort perks like complimentary Champagne, massages, and dinners on the beach through Dec. 22, 2021. 

Baros is about 25 minutes from the Maldives International Airport by speedboat. It has three restaurants and something it calls the Piano Deck, which is perhaps the most socially distanced restaurant table on Earth. 

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets, and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.