Harith Wickrema, the man behind Eco Serendib Villa and Spa in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, was named one of the top 10 hospitality innovators of 2011 by Lodging magazine. The magazine’s December 2011 issue identifies individuals who have “created ideas that are ahead of their time.”

The eight-suite villa created by Wickrema, which opened in June, was designed for executive retreats and high-end meetings, with a 12-person boardroom and event space for up to 50; a spacious pool and barbecue terrace; a full-service spa; and an “Epicurean Theater" for chef demos/teambuilding. Companies can either create their own events or bring in Wickrema’s event planning company, Harith Productions, for their programs.

At the foundation of Eco Serendib is the belief that people do not have to sacrifice modern conveniences and comforts to live greener. Sustainable features include solar panels, the use of repurposed materials in construction and design, cisterns for water collection, energy-efficient appliances, and an organic vegetable garden for garden-to-plate culinary experiences. The boardroom features writable walls and there is an option for a 100 percent paperless meeting.

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