Monday, July 28, 2014
Travellers are recognising the importance of environmental conservation and are increasingly seeking accommodation that supports environmentally friendly and sustainable tourism. Acknowledging this, hotels around the world are developing award-winning environmental, economic, and socio-cultural programs that preserve both the culture and support the local economy.
Global PR and Content Manager at HotelsCombined.com, Alycia Simons says that responsible tourism practices are beneficial to both hoteliers and guests.
“There is a growing interest in environmental conservation and understanding the impact of tourism on a destination. With the help of hoteliers, it is possible for tourists to experience and appreciate natural spaces and cultures, while conserving and minimising their effect on the environment,” Ms Simons said.
"The planet is fragile, and it is important that both tourists and suppliers work together to lessen the impact of tourism and protect some of the world's most beautiful destinations."
HotelsCombined recently examined its database of 800,000 properties to bring you ten exceptional 'green' hotels from across the world offering guests an eco-friendly and world-class holiday experience:
10. Hi Hotel, Nice, France
A boutique hotel offering a private beach and rooftop pool, the Hi Hotel Eco Spa & Beach has received Green Globe certification for using recycled paper, organic paint, eco-friendly cleaning products and organic food. Located in Nice, France, the hotel departs from conventional luxury, focusing on contemporary living and changing up ordinary spatial structures.
Photo: http://press.hotelscombined.com/images/Hi Hotel, France.jpg
9. Hix Island House, Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico
A tropical Caribbean oasis, the Hix Island house offers guests an elegant, rustic island escape. With a focus on nature, the Hix Island House runs on batteries charged by solar power. It also recycles rainwater, was designed to catch cooling winds and returns grey water to the environment.
The design of the hotel is in harmony with the countryside and upholds the concept that less is more. Built to withstand the natural elements, the hotel is hurricane, earthquake and fire proof.
8. Garonga Safari Camp, Phalaborwa, Africa
An exclusive 12 bed camp in South Africa, the resort supports the local community through economic empowerment. Locals are offered employment opportunities, with potential for career development, while food and goods are sourced locally where possible. Additionally, guests are invited to offset their carbon footprint by assisting with the planting and growing of Spesbok Trees in the Eastern Cape.
The safari is run in partnership with the Steenberg Hotel in Cape Town, and the camp is designed to blend in with the earthy surrounding. Guests will enjoy a unique experience with spectacular views.
7. Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda, Gargnano, Italy
In the heart of the Riviera dei Limoni, the various structures of this five-star resort are integrated into the village's hill slopes to reduce energy and heat dispersion.
The hotel focusses on overall wellness, a theme which remains constant through the food, outlay and peace of the hotel. The interior design makes use of local materials, while the design of the hotel was fashioned in respect to the surrounding landscape and environment. Rainwater is collected, and the hotel has a sustainable approach to waste management.
6. Thala Beach Lodge, Port Douglas, Australia, Port Douglas, Australia
This beautiful art-deco resort has been awarded with one of the highest eco-tourism accreditations, Eco certified – Advanced Tourism. Located on a private headland between Cairns and Port Douglas, the resort is actively involved in assisting the environmental rehabilitation process. Situated on 145 acres of property, Thala invites elders of the Kuku Talanji community to take guests through a journey of their culture; from healing plants to foraging for bush food.
5. Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Maldives
The Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa integrates environment and modern design to offer guests the ultimate luxurious experience. Various parts of the hotel are built over the water in the Indian Ocean in order to minimize interference with the natural environment. Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa has been the recipient of a silver EarthCheck certificate and is the only resort in the Maldives to be awarded by Earthcheck for both design and construction.
4. The Park Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India
Situated within a 10-minute car ride from the centre of Hyderabad the Park Hyderabad's stunning exterior maximizes natural light, reducing the need for electricity. Green transportation, bikes and electric cars, is encouraged. The hotel fuses local culture with exceptional design and has achieved Leed Gold certification.
3. Spice Island Beach Resort, St. George’s, Grenada
Owned and run by Sir Royston Hopkin and his family, the Spice Island Beach Resort is a luxurious destination for guests hoping to bask in the natural beauty of the Isle of Spice. A short walk from the famous Grand Anse Beach, the resort aims to blend into and co-exist with the island's native environment.
The resort uses solar heating, desalination plants and all forms of energy conservation. There is a focus on maximising the preservation of the island via community clean-ups, replanting and non-chlorinated pools. Smoking of any kind (even e-cigarettes) is forbidden in all areas of the resort which places an emphasis on body and soul renewal.
2. Alila Villas Soori, Bali, Indonesia
Located on the southwest coast of Bali, guests of this resort will enjoy a relaxing haven, far away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Set between the rice fields and coastline the hotel was designed in accordance with the EarthCheck international environmental standards.
The resort is completely water efficient with rainwater optimised to meet all of their water needs. More than half of all ingredients, goods and services are purchased from the local area. Locally sourced materials such as sand stone and natural stones were used in building the resort, which incorporates a combination of indigenous volcanic rock and abundant plants to organically cool the villas.
A five-star resort in the archipelago islands, Six Senses Con Dao has been recognised as one of the world’s top eco lodges by National Geographic Traveller. Built using sustainable building materials, the structure of the resort is designed to maximize air flow to reduce the need for air conditioning.
The resort and staff are passionately committed to both social responsibility – via education- and reducing the carbon footprint. Close to the beach and surrounded by greenery and jungle, guests will enjoy a relaxing stay in the stunning and very private location.
To watch the official HotelsCombined video (available in HD), follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajc4JqoV1_o
Sunday, July 27, 2014
But before he could flee, the women made-off, laughing uproariously, with his outer clothing, leaving the poor man in just his underwear. Panicked, he re-dressed from his travelling trunk and fled in darkness to the beach in the hope of attracting the attention of his ship still anchored off-shore. Unsuccessful, he was sitting awaiting daylight when a group of local village men came upon him – and for the second time that night, John Harris found himself stripped to his underwear.
A compassionate passing fishermen came to his aid by swimming out to the ship, and a boat was sent to collect Mr Harris. Back aboard, he was described as “being in pitiable condition, like one out of his senses...”
Others aboard had previously, however, questioned his suitability as a missionary in the first place, observing that “he disapproved of every thing (sic,) complained of the poverty on the island, judged the scene before him a solemn one, and seemed entirely to have lost his firmness and ardour.”
And while his London Missionary Society companion who had gone ashore with him, William Crook, expressed disappointment at Mr Harris’ return to the ship, he wrote in his diary that he was “not shaken by this desertion, (but) it would have greatly increased my happiness to have a friend and assistant who might comfort in time of trouble.”
Tahuata meanwhile dreams on; it’s the lowest-populated island in the Marquesas group with just 700 residents, has no airport (the nearest is 4km away on Hiva Oa, with village boats running between the two as required,) a 4-bedroom guest house, but no hotel.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
In the current (Winter edition) of Get Up & Go magazine we have an article on Airbnb. There is some controversy around the company in the USA at the moment but we promote the concept as it is another way for travellers to experience up-close-and-personal local attractions and people. Get Up & Go is not endorsing the product but just sharing the various experiences.
Rob & Ro Porter, from Victoria, Australia.
We interviewed a couple from Victoria, Rob and Ro Porter who do most of their accommodation stays with Airbnb as it suits their frequent travels all over the world. Following is Ro Porter's experience and advice on choosing this way to stay:
Top: Apres dinner on Sardengne.
Above: Best homemade jams in Provence.
Studio in Montmartre.
Top: The Lighthouse and the family in Morocco.
Above: A family gathering in Lisbon.
On the beach in Dubai with our Airbnb apartment owner.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Since opening almost a year ago, Burger Me Fresh has been impressing customers with its fresh, creative menu. Claiming the number one spot on TripAdvisor’s Top Ten Boutique Burgers list, Burger Me Fresh’s delicious burgers are served with your choice of a fresh juice or real fruit smoothie. “There's honestly nothing better than a delicious non-greasy burger ... and Burger Me Fresh just get it right, ” said a TripAdvisor reviewer.
For over a decade Andrew’s Hamburgers have been dishing up the quintessential hamburger – classic, well-established recipes served with the promise of an unbelievably tasty burger experience. Credited with setting the standard of burger creation in Melbourne, TripAdvisor reviewers agree. One reviewer wrote, “I first visited 10 years ago and they were sensational then and nothing has changed.”
This unconventional food truck has been impressing Exmouth locals and tourists for over 20 years, serving up its famous souvlaki, burgers and fries. With a menu unlike any other burger joint around, TripAdvisor reviewers are undoubtedly impressed and one wrote, “I had the hamburger and can honestly say is best one I've ever eaten.”
Since 2008, The Bottle of Milk has been creating some of the country’s most loved burgers. Located on Victoria’s picturesque coast, the burgers at The Bottle of Milk are a delicious take on the beach-side classic ‘burgers and chips’. According to a TripAdvisor reviewers, “the moment we took a bite from our burgers we knew we would be going back again.”
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
One of the most famous delicacies from the Cape Malay kitchen is ‘Bobotie’, traditionally a ‘Monday’ dish, made from leftovers from Sunday’s cooking. There are hundreds of variants in this dish – but the essential ingredient is ‘begrafnisrys’ (funeral rice); rice with turmeric and raisins, so called because it was served as a funeral meal by Cape Malayans.
Bobotie has become highly popular in South Africa as is now regarded as an indigenous dish. Soaked bread is mixed with minced meat and flavoured with fried onions, curry powder, apricot jam, fried almond slivers and sultanas. Add some lemon juice and halfway through cooking – cover with a topping of egg custard to give it a golden crust on top.
Served with sambals and atjars, Cape Malay curries are famous for the full-bodied flavour. So if you hanker for spice – you’ll find the most fragrant dishes served Cape Malay style in Cape Town.