The UN called 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Development in Tourism and it has been exciting to watch the tourism industry meet this common agenda. We are now charging through 2018 ….. Have you started to be more aware of hotels making positives changes to harness all three pillars of sustainability:- environmental, social and economic? Whether they are starting out on this transformation or have been doing it since they opened, the luxury hotel sector is being redefined. Welcome to the world of eco-luxe hotels who are beautifully fusing together first class standards and sustainability. In the second part of my Luxury Green Hotel Edit …. (Part 1 can be found here) …. I will be sharing three more hotels who have been impressing their guests with their green credentials.
Intercontintal Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Accessible only by boat, The Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is situated on a small private islet just off Bora Bora in French Polynesia. With incredible views of the stunning Mount Otemanu it is idyllically positioned for guests who want to have a little recharge in paradise. All of the resort’s bungalows are positioned over water. This Intercontinenatal property houses The Deep Ocean Spa, which is the world’s first deep sea water thalassotherapy and balneotherapy centre and spa. Here in the glass floored treatment rooms, guests can watch the coral reefs below as they have a treatment using nutrients extracted from the deep-sea waters of the South Pacific. Going the extra mile, the spa’s eco-friendly air-conditioning is also cooled by the same waters.
The resort’s sustainability policy is fairly thorough. Paper consumption has been reduced with the introduction of digital tablets for all resort brochures and daily newspapers can be read on Pressreader. Environmental impact has also been reduced with water and energy-saving practices. The resorts Lagoonarium is a protected habitat, here guests can learn more about the coral nursery and fish in their natural domain from a team of dedicated marine biologists. Also housed within the resort is Te Mana O Te Moana (‘The Spirit of the Ocean’), a local nonprofit organisation that was founded by the resort’s owner in 2004 with the aim to protect the local marine wildlife through research, conservation and youth-oriented educational and public outreach programs. www.thalasso.intercontinental.com
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – Canada
Surrounded by the peaks of the Canadian Rockies, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is globally recognised for its sustainable programs. For over a decade the Chateau has been ensuring they minimise their impact on their natural surroundings and incorporates their “No Net Negative Environmental Impact” practices into all hotel operations. This energy-efficient luxury resort purchases 50% of its electricity from wood biomass generated green power. Furthermore, local, organic, and/or sustainable menu items are used whenever possible within the Chateau’s restaurants and energy-efficient guests who drive hybrid vehicles receive complimentary overnight valet parking.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise was the very first hotel in Canada to receive a 5 Green Key rating from the Hotel Association of Canada’s Green Key Eco-Rating Program. Wildlife conservation is also on their agenda through the Fairmont CAREs Program. So far, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has donated over $12,000 to fund Parks Canada’s Westslope Cutthroat Trout Restoration project in Banff National Park since 2012. The project aims to preserve one of the few naturally occurring wild trout in western Canada. Provincially listed as threatened in Alberta, they now occupy less than 10% of their historic range.
Sadly I could not cover off all of the brilliant elements of this hotel’s environment stewardship in this post. It is thoroughly impressive though. For example, all leaders and colleagues are empowered to make environmentally friendly choices in the daily operations of their departments. All staff learn about local heritage, environmental and ecological issues and responsibilities, as well signing off on an Environmental and Heritage Job Task Checklist at their 3 month probationary performance review. This environmental awareness is all followed through to conferences held at the hotel. Eco-Meet is a conference package option that incorporates the highest standards of environmental stewardship into all aspects of the conference experience that includes Eco-Service, Eco-Programming and Eco-Cuisine. www.fairmont.com/lake-louise
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa
Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa has been steadily collecting green certificates, awards and accolades since it opened. Nestled in the heart of Costa Rican rainforest, Tabacon is located at the base of the Arenal volcano and has nature and wellness at its heart. A natural thermal mineral spring river flows through the resort from the volcanic earth and has formed Costa Rica´s largest network of naturally flowing hot springs with over 20 natural and mineral rich hot spring pools. Closest to the volcano where water temperatures are hottest, you’ll find Shangri-La Gardens an adults-only hideaway exclusively to hotel guests 18+. Guest can enjoy a detoxifying volcanic body wrap treatment or coconut and coffee exfoliation in the award-winning eco spa. Grand Spa covers 35,000 square metres and treatments are enjoyed in open-air rainforest bungalows to the sounds of gently rushing streams and local wildlife.
Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa was awarded a Sustainable Tourism Certificate (CST) is committed to protecting the environment and sustainable tourism. They help their guests to truly enjoy a natural paradise without endangering the environment and have some impressive sustainability programs in place. All wastewater from the hotel is treated in a plant owned by the hotel and all of the hot water used at the hotel comes from the thermal hot springs. Tabacon promotes the use of organic and biodegradable products and encourage guests to visit National Parks and interesting sites in the community and the region. www.tabacon.com