NEW YORK, NY — (April 2021)
— Sustainable and responsible travel is a mindset for many of The Leading Hotels of the World’s (LHW) 400+ properties.
LHW members have helped their respective destinations develop throughout the years and generations of family owners have shaped their communities and environment. Around the globe travelers can find Leading Hotels prioritizing environmental protection and incorporating locally supportive practices into every part of their hospitality experience.
“Unabated growth of consumer demand for authentic and enriching experiences have not been dampened, but instead fueled in this moment. Luxury travelers want to support communities and the environment that make a location unique. They want to leave a destination better than they find it. And they want to feel like they are being enriched, while enriching the destination,” said Shannon Knapp, President & Chief Executive Officer, The Leading Hotels of the World.
Explore some of LHW’s worldwide hotels leading the way in sustainable and responsible travel:
Leading Hotels Supporting their Local Communities
Thanda Safari (Hluhluwe, South Africa):
The Thanda Foundation Trust was established to engage with the socio-economic, educational and developmental needs of the three tribal communities neighboring Thanda in the Umkhanyekude District, as well as the preservation of Zulu culture. The Trust supports several community-based projects and serves as a fundraising vehicle for them. One effort is the Inkanyiso Crèche Project that supports the youngest members of one of the reserve’s neighboring Zulu communities situated in the Esibhojeni area. Assisted by donations from their guests, Thanda built a new crèche and provided a water tank and fencing for the playground. The crèche has 30 children aged between two and four years.
São Lourenço do Barrocal (Monsaraz, Portugal):
Since 1820 sustainability has been at the core of São Lourenço do Barrocal, a 2,000 acre estate in Portugal’s foothills of Monsaraz. It was started as a self-sustaining small farming village that valued self-sufficiency, low environmental impact and connection with the land. With the revitalization of the property into the hotel in 2016 by José António Uva, the eighth generation of the Uva family to have lived on the property, the commitment to fostering tourism concerned with respecting and experiencing the area’s authenticity stayed at the forefront of the hospitality model. 95 percent of the 100+ person staff are locally hired and on-property living opportunities for staff and their families are available. Numerous shops selling local products to visitors expanded through the hotel’s efforts. Five years later, a tourism model highlighting local products, food, history, landscapes and stories is helping the local economy flouish.
The Oyster Box (Durban, South Africa):
The Oyster Box supports numerous local charities like Pack for a Purpose. Their support of Pack for a Purpose encourages guests to pack school and art supplies, educational toys, music instruments, and more for donation. The items are donated to a local community non-profit that empowers underprivileged youth in the community.
Hotel Las Islas (Cartagena, Colombia):
Hotel Las Islas has supported the population of Barú since the inception of the hotel. During the hotel’s construction 500 villagers of the town of Barú were employed and 120 residents received specialized hospitality training and English lessons. The hotel continues to be committed to the community and has supported development of a sports center, a music training school and a variety of local businesses. Additionally, the hotel offers basic medical services to the population since there is no authorized helath center in Barú. When guests visit the property, Hotel Las Islas makes it a priority to introduce them to the Barú community through a variety of immersive programs.
Myconian Imperial Resort & Royal Myconian Resort (Mykonos, Greece):
For the Myconian Collection, giving back to the Cyclades Islands is a core company practice. Efforts through the George Daktylides Foundation, honoring Myconian Collection’s founder, focus on community support and a robust green hospitality strategy. The properties efforts boost the local economy and provide valuable opportunities for locals. Recently, this included the construction of a secondary school in Ano Mera – complete with classrooms, workshops, recreation facilities and staff accommodations.
Royal Mansour Marrakech (Marrakech, Morocco):
Royal Mansour partners with the Center Fiers & Forts, a refuge for disadvantaged, orphaned or abandoned children, Trait D’Union, a day center for handicap children, and Tameslouth Village, a co-op supporting local women and children. The hotel also supports EFA (Education for Girls) in which the hotel provides education and financial support to young women.
Hotel La Perla (Dolomites, Italy):
The Costa family, owners of Hotel La Perla, launched the Costa Family Foundation Onlus which supports children’s and women’s rights in global communities. There worldwide projects touch their home region of the Dolomites and across the globe from Uganda to Nepal and Afghanistan. In the Dolomites they collaborate with LaSpona, a South Tyrolean center for girls and boys affected by Trisomy 21. La Perla offers them the opportunity to work at the hotel. Across the world in India they aid a Tibetan Children’s Village, and in Afghanistan they have developed a harvesting project dedicated to women. Their whole philosophy as a business is based on the values of social responsibility, environmental sustainability, democratic co-management and solidarity of their company.
Nihi Sumba (Sumba, Indonesia):
To preserve the unique culture of Sumba Island, the resort’s ownership developed the Sumba Foundation to fight against challenges citizens face. The Foundation has established more than 250 water stations, providing water to over 27,000 citizens. Additionally, they support citizen’s healthcare through four complimentary medical clinics and work to combat malnutrition by providing meals to children and supporting farmers with organic seeds and education.
The Gleneagles Hotel (Perthshire, Scotland):
The hotel partners with a variety of local charities for community support. One in particular is Anchor House, which works to overcome the causes and consequences of homelessness, poverty and unemployment in the community. Gleneagles work with Anchor House includes fundraising efforts and the development of a community outreach program that brings the hotel’s chefs, digital marketing and finance team to the shelter for life coaching, such as cooking, bookkeeping and web skill development.
Leading Hotels Reducing their Carbon Footprint
Nayara Tented Camp (La Fortuna, Costa Rica):
Every guest of Nayara Resorts will soon have the opportunity to take part in their “Carbon Offset Program.” Guests will be able to calculate the footprint of their trip from flight to lodging, to ensure they travel in an environmentally responsible way. At the end of the trip participants will receive a certificate showing how they have neutralized emissions and supported renewable energies in Costa Rica.
La Bobadilla, A Royal Hideaway Hotel (Granada, Spain):
La Bobadilla is a pioneer of eco-awareness in Spain. The hotel’s use of a thermal biomass system in place of gas has drastically reduced the destination’s CO2 emissions.
12 Apostles Hotel & Spa (Cape Town, South Africa):
With water scarsity in South Africa, the hotel has made enormous strides in ensuring water conservation. The property has over 40 water-saving activities that guests are asked to respect to reduce water consumption and its associated emissions from treatment to disposal. Through initiatives such as two-minute shower timers, reusable ice cubes, waterless urinals and grey-water retention systems the property has reduced water consumption in the hotel by a remarkable 42 percent.
The Killarney Park (Killarney, Ireland):
This family-run hotel embarked on an extensive sustainability journey over five years ago to help protect the environment and their destination from climate change. All energy in the hotel is green 100 percent renewable and all appliances and lighting are ultra-energy efficient, resulting in carbon neutral powered building. The hotel is also certified as a single use plastic free hotel, and even boasts its own well to provide water for staff and guests. Non-chemical cleaning products are used throughout the property so that the local lakes and waterways stay clean. And local suppliers are used so that there is very little transport in the delivery of the finest food and beverage for guests. On Earth Day you will find The Killarney Park team taking part in a socially distanced clean-up and recycling effort in the town of Killarney.
The Milestone Hotel & Residences (London, England):
The Milestone Hotel has removed 30 single-use plastic items from the hotel, from bin liners and water bottles to pens and toothbrushes. In support of this effort, the hotel partners with Belu, a company that provides sustainable glass-bottled mineral water and filtered water, donating 100 percent of its net profits to its charity partner, WaterAid.
Hotel Okura Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Netherlands):
The hotel’s consumption efforts start in the rooms and suites where a smart management system adapts the lightening, curtains, air conditioning and heating settings based on guests’ in-room presence. Recently, the hotel also installed 873 solar panels on the grand ballroom roof and one year later has saved more than 89 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Hotel Okura Amsterdam also uses a WKO system that allows the hotel to heat and cool energy-efficiently and further minimize CO2 emissions.
Beau-Rivage Palace Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland):
To protect the surrounding ecosystem, the hotel offers an innovative air conditioner system fueled by lake water. This system cools the air in an ecofriendly way as the recycled water returns in the lake after the cooling process is complete.
Grand Hotel Majestic - già Baglioni (Bologna, Italy):
Grand Hotel Majestic - già Baglioni has started a green project that involves all hotel environments, from the common areas to the rooms. Attention to detail is key for the green project, with hotel suppliers selected based on the materials they use. Textile materials are treated by Pedersoli Group, which uses plant-based materials. These efforts reduce energy consumption by 35 percent, while also limiting emissions and the use of natural resources. The hotel also partners with Bottega dell'Albergo for corn starch in-room clothing bags, uses the Trussardi line with recycled oceanic plastic for bathroom products, and serves tea from Dammann Frères, a member of the UN Global Compact.
Ashford Castle (Cong, Ireland):
The property was the first hotel in Ireland to achieve the GREENMark Plastic Smart Standard Award recognizing its commitment to remove all single use plastics from the property in 2019. The property has saved 57,000 bottles from landfill across the Ashford Castle Estate and has so-far eliminated 30 different single-use plastics and will be plastic free by 2022.
Le Negresco (Nice, France):
Taking care of the planet has always been a strong commitment for Le Negresco. In 2014 the hotel was certified as an Ecolabel hotel and renewed this distinction in 2020. Their efforts include increasing sourcing of local food products, led by Chef Virginie Basselot, and even a new role at the hotel dedicated to environmental care.
Bahía del Duque (Tenerife, Spain):
In 2020 Bahía del Duque started to implement a 100 percent green energy consumption program. All energy originates from renewable sources and has reduced up to 80 percent of the property’s carbon footprint. Bahía del Duque is also focused on reducing its water footprint, a critical practice for this island hotel. Seawater is desalinated for use on property and the hotel hosts beach and seabed clean-ups in collaboration with local environmental associations throughout the year to keep the island healthy.
Verdura Resort, a Rocco Forte Hotel (Sicily, Italy):
Conceived with special attention to eco-friendly features, the resort is equipped with solar panels for the production of hot water and a water recycling system. Furthermore, there is a no-car policy on the resort in order to preserve the beauty of the landscape. In addition, recently the entire exterior lighting system, consisting of 8,300 lightbulbs, was replaced with LED bulbs.
The Dolder Grand (Zurich, Switzerland):
The Dolder Grand is focused on efficiency through technology. Through a geothermal system with 70 geothermal probes, which were sunk 152 meters into the ground, the property has reduced energy consumption by half. The geothermal technology helps cover a significant percentage of cooling and heating needs. The rest of the property’s electricity needs are covered in a CO₂-neutral way with 100 percent Swiss hydroelectric power.
Leading Hotels Prioritizing Environment Protection
Capella Ubud (Ubud, Indonesia):
Minimal intervention in nature was key for Bill Bensley, the principle architect and visionary behind the Capella Ubud. What resulted was a tented camp that is almost hidden in the jungle. The forest was kept untouched when creating the property. Not a tree was cut and none of the existing contours of the landscape was altered. The Two Bedroom Lodge is a perfect example of this effort with six ancient coconut palms passing happily through the interior spaces to the pool deck above, gracing the camp’s landscape as it has been for the past 100 years. Being located within a jungle setting, surrounded by scenic nature and embracing the Balinese culture, Capella Ubud recognizes daily the significance of ensuring their environment remains healthy, clean and preserved for the future. As such, they have implemented an Environmental Management System that meets the requirements of the EarthCheck Company Standard. In 2020 Capella Ubud certified Silver for its sustainability practices.
The Datai Langkawi (Langkawi, Malaysia):
The resort introduced “The Datai Pledge” in 2019, an ambitious program to create sustainable operations, protect the flora and fauna of the rainforest and sea, as well as positively impacting the community. Since its inception major milestones have been reached. Five artificial reefs have been planted in The Datai Bay, and a coral adoption initiatives with guests and partners is ongoing. Over 100 seeds have been collected and planted in the resort’s Native Tree Nursery for future replanting in the rainforest. New Artificial Nesting Boxes have been set-up to support the local population of Great Hornbills. The goal of zero-waste-to-landfill has been nearly met in the first quarter of 2021. The resort also collaborates with two schools to help educate youth on green practices and foster a climate of appreciation for the rich biodiversity that exists on Langkawi island.
Chablé Yucatan (Chocholá, Mexico):
Located in the heart of the Mayan forest, the resort is deeply rooted in the ancient culture, committed to preserving mother nature and providing resources to the community. The wellness-centric resort has over seven acres of farmed land with various fruits, herbs and vegetables, which allows the property to provide farm-to-table produce, cocktails and ingredients for spa treatments. This Earth Day the hotel will celebrate with a “Bundle of Light.” Guests will be left seeds as a turndown amenity and will be invited to meet the next morning at the farm to plant seeds with the gardening team. To further celebrate the lights throughout the resort will be dimmed at 7 PM and the garden lit by candle for a special meditation.
Marbella Club Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa (Marbella, Spain):
Marbella Club’s extensive list of green initiatives includes their marine biodiversity conservation efforts. The hotel is the principal sponsor of a local marine biodiversity conservation project run by the Malaga based Aula Del Mar foundation, which aims to rewild the Andalucian coast with seagrass meadows and reintroduce Spain´s two native species of seahorses to areas where their populations are dwindling. This effort is part of a much wider IUCN-backed project that aims to use seahorses as a flagship species to monitor global climate change. Marbella Club actively raises funds for this project and is developing activities for guests to learn about this important conservation initiative. The hotel also coordinates an annual 8km beach clean-up with local stakeholders and charities. Volunteers removed 150kg of trash from the 8km beach in the 2020 clean-up.
The Okura Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan):
When developing this newly built hotel the team wanted to bring a sense of nature in Japanese style to the heart of Tokyo. The result was half of the property being dedicated to nature. Hotel guests and locals can now enjoy The Okura Square, The Okura Garden and Edomizaka Park that highlights the dynamic natural landscape and unique topography of the Toranomon district with hills, fields and wetland. For its contribution to create a sustainable, green city The Okura Tokyo was honored with the “Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s 40th Green City Award.”
Grand Residences Riviera Cancun (Puerto Morelos, Mexico):
With an idyllic beach setting, coral reefs offshore and mangrove forest and jungle close by, Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is committed to being good environmental stewards. From using eco-friendly products and beach cleaning, to boasting a state-of-the-art water treatment and conservation system, to reforestation and turtle conservation, their efforts touch all aspects of resort operations.
Constance Lémuria (Praslin, Seychelles):
This Seychelles resort helps guests learn about biodiversity and wildlife. An Eco Kiosk on property offers educational insight on Praslin Island’s flora, fauna, Giant Aldabra tortoises and Hawksbill turtles that call the destination home. From October to January the resort invites guests and school children to watch the turtle hatching and releasing season through a guided experience led by hotel staff members.
Thanda Island (District of Mafia Island, Tanzania):
Located on its own private island, Thanda Island is a private marine reserve where guests are encouraged to get involved in marine wildlife workshops with villagers. Thanda partners with the Tanzanian Marine Parks and leading NGO, Sea Sense, on a range of marine conservation projects on sea turtles, dolphins, whale sharks, coral reefs and marine reserves. The Island is powered by solar energy, and rainwater tanks maximize water storage. An on-site desalination plant provides water for the entire Island, and grey water is recycled for the rehabilitation of the Island's vegetation.
Hotel Royal - Evian Resort (Evian Les Bains, France):
Located on the south shore of Lake Geneva, surrounded by century-old trees and rare species, the 47-acre hotel proudly contributes to the destination’s biodiversity. The hotel created a ‘LPB Safe Space Agreement’ (part of the French League for the Protection of Birds), which protects 40+ bird species onsite, many of which are endangered species.
About The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. (LHW)
Comprised of more than 400 hotels in over 80 countries, LHW is the largest collection of independent luxury hotels. In 1928, 38 independent hoteliers came together to create LHW. Since then, the Company has carefully curated distinctive hotels, resorts, inns, chalets, villas, and safari camps from the snow-capped Alps of Europe to the African veldt, to share them with adventurous souls who seek the remarkably uncommon. The LHW community is filled of exceptional individuals, united by a passion for the surprising discoveries and details that come with every experience. LHW hoteliers are artisans of hospitality whose expertise, commitment to excellence, and individual flair allows them to create story-worthy moments for their guests. And it is these authentic, individualized experiences combined with the warm hospitality and high-touch service they provide that keeps discerning travelers returning again and again. LHW’s collection covers the globe and promises a broad range of destinations and uncommon experiences, enhanced by LHW’s tiered guest loyalty program Leaders Club. From converted former palaces, and countryside retreats run by the same families for generations, to gleaming skyscrapers in dynamic urban centers, serene private island escapes, glamorous tented camps – and beyond – explore, find inspiration, and experience unforgettable travel moments. For more information visit: www.lhw.com
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