FOR THE CONSERVATIONIST> Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
Six Senses Hotels Resorts and Spas have been a vanguard in sustainable travel, evidenced by such programs as the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI). Guests at this chic retreat can meet MUI team members and participate in sustainability and marine conservation initiatives, in addition to enjoying nightly complimentary presentations on subjects related to the efforts. Additionally, the #protectmaldivesseagrass campaign combats the removal of seagrass for tourism, as the natural seagrass habitat is critical to ocean health. And young travelers can get in on the action, too, with MUI’s new Junior Marine Biology program. The first of its kind in the Maldives, the program pairs one-on-one mentoring with MUI marine biologists with a “choose your own adventure” structure that allows junior marine biologists to design personalized programs.
These two posh South Africa properties by Red Carnation Hotels are maximizing efforts to positively impact both wildlife and community. Here’s how:
- The Oyster Box’s Rhino Initiative. KwaZulu-Natal is one of the oldest protected areas in the world and is also where the bulk of rhino poaching (now at an all-time high) is taking place. The Oyster Box is committed to the protection of these ancient creatures. When guests return key-cards at checkout, a percentage per card benefits the Rhinos Without Borders project.
- The Amy Biehl Foundation. Based in Cape Town, this non-profit’s mission is to prevent youth violence through a holistic approach to youth and community development in socio-economically disadvantaged communities in and around the city. The foundation works to empower underprivileged youths aged 6-18. Guests are encouraged to donate to the fund by adding a nominal fee to their hotel bill on departure. Additionally, all proceeds from the sale of “A Life in Food,” a cookbook by Red Carnation Hotel Collection President and Founder Bea Tollman are donated to the foundation.
- Pack for A Purpose. Guests are encouraged to save a few kilograms of space in their suitcase and bring supplies for less fortunate communities, schools, or medical clinics in need. The gifts are donated to Pack For A Purpose.
FOR THE ADVENTURIST > Tierra Hotels
Partnering with the Sustainable Tourism Foundation and Heritage Rescue, Tierra Hotels has developed a heritage tourism program whose objective is to prioritize local heritage where the hotels are located. Designed for travelers interested in nature, history, archeology, art and gastronomy, the program celebrates Chile’s storied past.
A heritage offering at Tierra Atacama includes a visit to the wool artisans of Socaire. A family of indigenous artisans show the ancestral process of producing fine fabrics of alpaca, llama, and lamb wool.
Just announced is an initiative to clean the beaches of Lemuy Island. With the collected marine plastic pollution, women from the local community will make baskets offered for sale at the resort. The project has a double impact: cleaning and caring for the island and supporting the local community based on entrepreneurship support.
This stylish property works with local estancias to preserve the baqueano (gauchos) or “cowboy” heritage and their lifestyle in the Patagonian pampa. By investing in Magallanic barbecues and horse ridings, it supports the local gauchos and involves guests in excursions showcasing local traditions and the importance of preservation.
FOR THE WELLNESS WARRIOR > Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort
With four properties in the U.S., Canyon Ranch is committed to sharing its knowledge and tools for integrative wellness. Highlights of philanthropic endeavors include:
- Partnership with the Dream Street Foundation. Since 1988, Canyon Ranch has hosted young adults with life-threatening illnesses to a transformative getaway, allowing them the opportunity to briefly escape medical problems and fully immerse themselves in the Canyon Ranch experience.
- Giving Back. In gratitude for its first 40 years, Canyon Ranch is “Giving to Givers.” The company awards 10, four-night Canyon Ranch stays to deserving men and women who might not easily manage a Ranch vacation.
FOR THE FOODIE > Borgo Pignano, Tuscany, Italy
The stunning Borgo Pignano estate grows organic olives, cereals from ancient seeds, and biological crops. Additionally, a seasonal vegetable garden produces farm-to-table fare, while production is underway on the Tuscan Vermentino white wine and Ciliegiolo and Colorino red wine. Guests are treated to artisanal breads, organic pastas, stone-ground flours, cold pressed olive oils, honeys, herbs, jams, soaps and other toiletries using traditional Tuscan techniques. By promoting eco-sustainability and certified organic farming, Borgo Pignano provides a positive spin off to the local economy via jobs and supporting an array of small local businesses directly or indirectly.
FOR THE FOODIE > Chateau de la Barre, Loire Valley, France
Similar to the aforementioned Borgo Pignano, Chateau de la Barre supports local farmers by sourcing all products from producers in the countryside. The property offers visits to organic wineries and to a manor house being built from scratch by a stone mason. What’s more, wine and authentic “terroir” experiences include cooking classes with local products and Renaissance cooking classes highlighting culinary traditions that have made French cuisine famous. Bon apetit!