Posts Tagged ‘Green Travel’

The shuttle van turned off the highway and stopped at the gate to gain entry to Hacienda Tres Rios. We arrived. The private path to the main hotel entrance might be considered a touch more “natural” than others, but when you arrive to the main reception, no doubt exists. You booked a luxury resort.

the HTR lobby (photo: Kirsten Alana)

At first you might think, well it is not unlike any other all-inclusive accommodation. And after your stay you might leave thinking – ok it’s different – the resort served better food, the service came with a bigger smile, or perhaps  you really enjoyed the on-site cenote swim. Differences, yes – but another difference exists.

As a guest, you don’t sense the sustainable aspect. Ok, when you take the excursions to the nursery established to help revitalize the hurricane damaged eco-system or take a kayak down a river thru mangroves – it’s ‘green.” But once you enter the resort grounds – it’s “normal.” It’s a luxury property in the Riviera Maya. A good one too.

The award winners pose for a photo (Photo: HTR)

And at the all-inclusive guests enjoy margaritas poolside, dine at the many restaurants, and take afternoon siestas in a cool, comfortable room.  Yet somehow Hacienda Tres Rios makes all that sustainable.

This past August, the resort achieved the Green Globe award for its second straight year. (HTR opened in Nov ’08) The award, received in recognition of it sustainable practices, conservation of the environment, support for local communities, and preservation of local culture is not easily obtained. And as I sat in the ceremony as an invited guest, I could not help but be impressed. Not solely because I understood the Spanish (I did, even though we had a translator) but more impressed about the details of what the resort created. I learned about the saltwater purification process, the elevator machine mechanics and the heating-cooling systems.  All complicated, all impressive.

the resort is so much more "green" than fauna

Then after the ceremony, after the local press took photos and interviewed the resort owners, planners, and green globe representatives the group of travel bloggers headed for a tour of the kitchen. We learned more. We learned about its commitment to reducing garbage monthly and how even with a buffet and 100s of guests it only discards 7-9% of its food. I didn’t think that was impressive until I started thinking about my own practices in my New York apartment. (Yes I cook) And, yes it is impressive.

A "green" we all can understand - the margarita.

Now, the more I look, awards and accolades continue to shower Hacienda Tres Rios. Both as a pioneer in sustainable travel and also as a luxury resort property. It seems the two are not mutually exclusive. Luxury and Sustainable together. Sounds wonderful.

But then as I left resort a few days later I wondered why the resort doesn’t promote itself as a leading sustainable resort to its guests on-site. No signs, no blatant details. My curiosity peaked. But when I watched and learned the details of eco-systems on my African adventures, I remember learning how nature just worked efficiently and quietly. So, I guess Hacienda Tres Rios took one more page from the sustainable handbook and created the process the way nature intended (and perhaps resorts guests want it too) – Seamless.

stay adventurous, Craig

Day 10 of 20 day Mexico Bicentennial tribute

I’d also like to thank HTR for the all inclusive invitation to attend the ceremony.


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Green; the color of money (in the US), the color of envy? the color of energy? Maybe all three? Maybe you have none?

But actually ‘green’ also seems to be becoming the color of travel. Words like “sustainability,” “organic” and “eco-tourism” are more and more prevalent each and every day.  We all read them on travel websites and guidebooks targeting the people conscious of their footprint. And now such choices are no longer just for those backpacking through remote jungles in Central America or South East Asia. These choices now exist when selecting a luxury vacation too. A choice tourists, not just travelers make today.

Just in the last year(ish), I stayed at three resorts considered ‘green.’ All three enjoyable. All three luxurious. All three in Mexico.

The coast of Riviera Maya

Last winter in the ancient Mayan sea post of Tulum I stayed at CabanasCopal. I selected an ocean front bungalow that did not include electricity. The time “without” allowed me to experience a deeper connection with nature. With light only from the moon and candles I savored the hours and the chance to pause and ponder a different world.

On a recent trip to the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, I stayed about 45 minutes north of Cabo San Lucas in Pescadero. After the exit, or really just left turn, off highway 1 I traveled a dirt road past countless organic farms on the way to Rancho Pescadero. Each of the three meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, prepared with the locally grown and organic ingredients, pleased the palette.

In the Riviera Maya I stayed at Hacienda TresRios, a pioneer in the green space.  The Hacienda earned numerous environmental construction and sustainable awards including the coveted Green Global Certification. Built on land that was once a national park altered by Hurricane, the recently opened luxury resort and spa did not forget its roots. Guest can swim, snorkel, kayak or just learn about the diverse ecosystem on the grounds. For me, it was all about the cenotes.

Yes green, the color of so much, including life, is also becoming the color of travel. And that is why I volunteered (well it’s a contest with a prize) to help promote traffic to one resort. I didn’t say “yes” solely because of the prize, but more importantly said yes to spread the word about choices resorts are making, and choices you have when taking a vacation.

...a suite color

Many resorts are doing more than asking you to reuse your towels. As consumers we can support them with our business. So do your research, ask questions, and make a conscious choice.

But since you must ask for what you want, I am asking my readership to cast a vote for Turquesa (or a ‘like’ since its on FaceBook page.) Thanks.

stay adventurous, Craig

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