Ambitious Goals – Sustainable Accommodation in Southeast Asia Vol. 2

by Cambodia, Sustainability, Thailand


Pimalai Resort & Spa – Koh Lanta, Thailand

The first property in Koh Lanta to achieve the Green Globe certification, Pimalai Resort & Spa is aiming high with its ambitious sustainability goals. In a five-year plan that is already in action, it has reduced daily electricity and water consumption by 10 to 15%, its carbon footprint by 10% and waste by at least 5%. The resort has switched to low-energy LED lighting, reorganised its transport schedule and installed more efficient boilers and water meters, as well as the Biogas Plant that processes 200 kilogrammes of kitchen waste a day and uses the produced gas to power parts of the resort. Adding to it are the resort’s own fruit and vegetable farms and herbal garden, providing organic produce in an eco-friendly way.

The initiatives are not limited to the resort only, as the team has a dream to make the island of Koh Lanta zero-waste. Collaborating with local authorities, they have pioneered a waste management system and recycling initiatives in schools, and have recently launched the Community Compost Station. Diving deeper, Pimalai Resort & Spa works with leading marine biologists on clownfish release and coral propagation programmes. At the same time, the resort’s onsite diving centre is training divers who want to join the effort.

SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort & Spa – Phuket, Thailand

With a sustainability focused approach, SALA Hospitality Group (SHG) is constantly developing new environmental initiatives. The green movement was a natural choice, due to the need to preserve the pristine natural environment of the Group’s properties. Recognising waste management as one of the biggest challenges in hospitality, SHG encourages its suppliers to reduce packaging and choose eco-friendly wrapping, while also inspiring guests and staff to embrace recycling. Each year SHG sets sustainability guidelines, and energy conservation became their main focus of 2019.

Leading the change, SALA Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort & Spa has adopted energy saving practices, including inverter air-conditioning and LED lighting. The resort also joined Earth Hour in March, switching off all unneeded lights for an hour. Other initiatives include providing drinking water in glass bottles and bathrooms free of single-use plastic. Amenities – including combs, dental and shaving kits, and shower caps – are made from biodegradable materials such as bamboo, corn starch and paper.

As with everything at SALA Phuket, sustainability is done in style. Upon arrival choose your preferred lotion and soap, with samples stored in ceramic containers or wrapped in paper. There is also the opportunity for eco-friendly transportation with complimentary bicycles available during the daytime. With such great attention to detail from the team, your stay is bound to be as eco-conscious as possible.

Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort – Phuket, Thailand

Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort cares about sustainability as much as it cares about its guests. Starting small, the resort uses biodegradable plastic straws; and garbage bags and tupperware made from starch, produced locally in Thailand. Guests joining the Ayurveda and wellness programmes are given copper bottles from India, which have certain Ayurvedic health benefits. For other guests, water is provided in glass bottles with a complimentary water refill station at reception. The bathroom amenities are stored in mangosteen-shaped ceramic containers, while the salt-water swimming pool contains no chemicals whatsoever. 

The resort is equipped with a water recycling system, where waste water from the rooms and kitchen is cleaned and used in the garden, so none of it is released into the sea. The team only uses soft and biologically degradable cleaning liquids and has been separating and recycling garbage for over 15 years. The resort also uses LED lighting, inverter air conditioning systems and electronic timers for saving energy. And, surprisingly, even pest control is carried out without any chemicals – instead oils, herbs and certain bacteria are used.

akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok – Thailand

Akaryn Hotel Group is a big player in the sustainability game and has successfully reached its goal to make all properties single-use plastic free. Opening its doors in 2018, akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok led the change as the first newly launched single-use plastic free hotel in Asia. Of course there is a luxurious touch to the change: the drinks are served with eco-chic reusable stainless steel straws, and upon check-in, guests are presented with stylish branded bottles made from the same material. The bottles are reused in the hotel, but are also available for purchase with all proceeds going to the Pure Blue Foundation. The combs and toothbrushes are made from cornstarch and garbage bags are biodegradable.

The Group has also developed a series of CSR-inspired ‘Meeting with a Purpose’ concepts, where businesses get a chance to support local communities and environmental conservation activities during their events. These range from local school visits to books distribution and tree planting. Other hotels within the Akaryn Hotel Group are also sustainably-minded: akyra Manor Chiang Mai promotes the idea of eating local by designing special menus, and has launched a number of community outreach projects, while akyra Thonglor Bangkok makes donations to provide scholarships for the students of a local school.

Memoire Hotels & Resorts – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Memoire Hotels & Resorts takes sustainability seriously and supports eco-conscious efforts in all of its three hotels in Siem Reap. Big focus is given to the surrounding communities by using organic bathroom amenities and spa products produced by a local company. Memoire Hotels also support NGOs that help local orphanages, providing internships and career opportunities. All vegetables and fruit used in the kitchen are organic and supplied by the Cambodian Happy Co Farm community, located not far from Siem Reap. 

Saying no to plastic straws, the hotel group switched to one of the most eco-friendly alternatives out there – lemongrass straws. Guests are also welcome to use the hotels’ ‘Refill Not Landfill’ stainless steel or glass bottles which are refilled with an in-house purified water, that gets certified by the PASTER laboratory in Phnom Penh every three months. 

You can read more about Sustainable Accommodation in Southeast Asia here.

Please contact us for more information about the hotels mentioned above.