Caring for customers isn’t just about having a gracious smile and attentive service, but it involves really understanding each of your customers as individuals, catering to their distinctive needs as best one can. The top Maldives properties have achieved this with specially trained ‘butlers’ (and assorted variations on that theme). But some needs require more work than just a resourceful attendant’s hustle. In fact, some people – those with disabilities – often want an experience where their ‘luxury’ is being able to do everything as independently as possible.
Disabled individuals are used to tackling and overcoming diverse obstacles that the world throws at them. But holiday is when one wants a break from not only job work, but also just the daily work of housekeeping, cooking, cleaning and other chores. So going to an exotic locale renowned for sand and water (neither of which are disabled individuals’ particular friends) is always going to be less appealing.
Amilla Maldives breaking down these obstacles with a property-wide initiative to make their resort as accessible as possible:
- “The sandy island paths, beaches, water jetties, villas and restaurants across the archipelago have for too long remained the exclusive domain of non-disabled visitors, excluding this as a dream-destination for guests with additional mobility, sensory or cognitive requirements, who would come if they only believed they could…Inclucare officials are auditing the entire resort island to identify any physical adjustments or adaptations that can be made to authentically establish Amilla, and the Maldives, as an accessible and inclusive dream-destination for all….Amilla is now on target to soon become the first Inclucare-certified resort in the world.
Amilla outlined a range of accessibility enhancements they implemented (including the following), but talking with resort leadership couple, Jason and Victoria, many more are on the way.
- Amilla already had many easy-access ground floor villas, with wide doorways and accessible showers, as well as a beach wheelchair and a floating wheelchair for swimming and in-villa phones for the hearing impaired that light up when they ring… New innovations on the cards at Amilla include deaf-alert systems, adaptive yoga and snorkelling adventures, and sensory touch, aroma and sound experiences through the jungle for vision-impaired guests. And there will also be another groundbreaking addition: ‘calming spaces’, for regulating sensory input. They will allow guests on the Autism spectrum, with learning difficulties, or dementia, to control their emotions, reducing anxiety and stress.”
Amilla introduced their initiatives hosting British TV personality and disability advocate, Sophie Morgan. Not only does she provide a compelling “proof of the pudding is in the eating” test to Amilla’s initiatives, but she also provides extensive reassurance through live demonstration on her Instagram (see embedded post here).
Accessibility is especially near and dear to our hearts. Lori worked for nearly a decade as Head of Therapy for the UK Epilepsy Society where she was supporting clients with a broad range of often severe disabilities. And I coach disabled athletes in the sport of rowing, and even have a website with comprehensive information about that – www.adaptiverowinguk.com. In fact I have a series of posts called “Can You Row With…” (eg. “Can You Row with Multiple Sclerosis?”, “Can You Row With Cerebral Palsy?”, “Can You Row With a Hearing Impairment?”). So, ‘Can You Go to the Maldives with a Disability?’ To Amilla, you certainly can!