The newly launched platform connects globetrotters to unique luxury getaways across the world that are paving the way for sustainable travel through initiatives that positively impacts nature, benefits local communities, and supports cultural heritage.
Sustainable travel has emerged as a trend over the past few years, hospitality brands have been taking notice. The industry has been taking steps to not only enhance the guest experience but also be mindful of its environmental impact. With this goal in mind, the Preferred Hotel Group has launched Beyond Green, a new platform that connects discerning travellers with hotels, resorts and lodges that have sustainability at their core.
The idea behind Beyond Green was to identify hotels that were making genuine efforts towards sustainability in a holistic manner, explains Costas Christ, Brand Leader, Beyond Green. The current portfolio features 27 luxury properties across the world, including the United States, South America, Africa and Asia. Each encourages a personal connection with the environment and the local community through sustainable architecture, guided activities, and active participation in preserving the surrounding ecology and supporting the native inhabitants of the region. “Today’s travellers are craving connectedness and renewal, and with this comes a new and profound sense of responsibility for taking care of personal and planetary health and well-being,” says Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of Beyond Green and its parent company, Preferred Hotel Group.
Guests who sign up for the Preferred Hotel Group’s loyalty programme, I Prefer, can avail of added benefits such as points for every stay, flexible check-in and check-out, and exclusive experiences that range from an ecology tour to a specialised lecture on the Gobi Desert.
Here are our top picks from Beyond Green’s collection of sustainable luxury hotels and resorts:
Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, Costa Rica
This luxury beachfront resort sits on a 11-acre nature reserve, between lush rainforest and the Pacific Ocean. The former plantain farm provides easy access to private beaches and the Manuel Antonio National Park that’s known for its lush wildlife, such as three-toed sloths, endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys and hundreds of bird species. You can also go whale watching at Marina Ballena National Marine Park, or make the most of the surrounding hiking trails. The resort has been accommodated on only 25% of the land, with the remaining an important corridor for the area’s wildlife.
Pro-tip: Request the staff for a private dining experience at the beach for a memorable meal with brilliant views.
Green points: Major reforestation efforts have been undertaken at the property over the last two decades—including 7,000 native trees and thousands of endemic plants. The resort’s electric system is also built underground so as not to disturb the wildlife. It also employs solar panels to heat water, a vermiculture-based compost system that recycles organic waste, and has banned single-use plastics. Much of the produce used by its restaurants comes from an on-site hydroponic garden and seafood is freshly sourced from local fisherman. The resort also supports the local community by selling handicrafts and local organic coffee at its boutique.
Guests can choose to donate to the neighbouring Sabalo School to fund classroom supplies and eco-education programs. The hotel organises fortnightly drives where staff volunteers clean up a major nature trail inside Manuel Antonio National Park, as well as the stretch from the park to Espadilla Beach.
Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
Flanked by the peaks of the Gobi Altai mountains and bordering the largest national park in the heart of Mongolia’s boundless Gobi Desert, this lodge promises dramatic landscapes, remote wilderness and a chance to immerse yourself in Mongolian culture. Think of the accommodation as a luxury upgrade of traditional yurts used by the nomadic herders of the region. Each comes with a hand-carved bed, private bathroom and an oculus for stargazing. There’s plenty to keep you busy including guided treks through Yol Valley National Park, mountain hikes where you might chance upon petroglyphs dating back to the Bronze Age; fiery sunset views of the Gobi desert atop the Flaming Cliffs; horseback excursions, and a chance to experience the way of life of local herding families that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Unwind at the in-house spa which features four private treatment areas, including a couple’s room.
Green points: The lodge uses traditional stone and wood architecture, solar power, and produce from an onsite organic greenhouse. It has also developed several conservation programs, including a reforestation initiative that has planted more than 12,000 trees to prevent desertification, and community partnerships to protect the area’s rare wildlife, including the snow leopard. It supports Mongolian artists via the Arts Council of Mongolia, the National Horse-headed Fiddle Ensemble, and the Gob’s Hanhongor musical school.
Post Ranch Inn, United States
This secluded retreat in Big Sur allows you to commune with nature in the lap of luxury. The contemporary architecture is as stunning as the redwood forests and Pacific Ocean views the property offers. The 960-square-foot Cliff House comes with a wood-burning fireplace, glass walls to soak in the sights and custom-built, contemporary wooden furniture. The activities here allow you to luxuriate in nature. Guests can enjoy morning yoga and meditation classes, guided nature walks and hikes at nearby state parks, tours of the chef’s garden and even falconry. Art lovers, make a stop at the Post Gallery & Sculpture garden which has sculptures, jewellery and photography on display. You can also purchase clothing, jewellery and artwork by local artists at the inn’s gallery. The Post Ranch Spa offers customised therapies, and two heated infinity pools are the perfect vantage point to take in the gorgeous surroundings.
Green points: The inn has been built using sustainable materials, landscaped using drought-resistant native plants, and is solar powered. The flora and fauna on the grounds are protected through habitat restoration and removal of invasive species. Keep an eye out for endangered and at-risk wildlife such as the Smith’s Blue Butterfly, California Red-legged Frog and the California Condor.
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