Ensuring that they keep their carbon footprint as low as possible, the group actively encourages guests and staff to responsibly care for the surrounding beaches and ocean – as well as aid local communities and wildlife.
A small but dedicated group, their current initiatives include:
- All hotels completely single-use plastic free as of June 2019
- Running the Pure Blue Foundation, their eco-foundation, to help reduce plastic in the oceans
- Hosting ‘Train & Sustain’ retreats encouraging beach clean-ups and community outreach
- Operating farm to fork concepts where the hotels have their own farms on-site
- Promoting Elephant Conservation & local community initiatives in the north of Thailand
- Mangrove tree planting to offset carbon emissions
As the recent winner of the ‘Green Steps’ award at the 2018 Responsible Thailand Awards, founder and MD, Anchalika Kijkanakorn comments: “it’s an honour to be recognised for our contribution to eco- friendly travel. It is our goal to become fully sustainable throughout AHG as soon as possible.”
FOUR delves deeper into the group’s initiatives:
No single-use plastics
Following the launch of Asia’s first single use-plastic free hotel, akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok, as of June 2019, the group have now implemented this across the whole group. Efforts include sourcing glass bottles and removing all single-use plastic from the bars and restaurants. As well as this, stylish, stainless steel water bottles are handed to guests on arrival, which can be refilled anytime during their stay at the self-service water stations located on every floor. Additionally, toiletry products are presented in locally manufactured celadon containers filled with essential oil-based products which can be refilled – and bought in bulk – at the hotel boutiques. For those wanting to indulge in some retail therapy outside of the resorts, special shopping totes can be found in the wardrobes to encourage guests to refuse plastic bags when shopping, promoting change even whilst outside of the hotel.
The Pure Blue Foundation
The Pure Blue Foundation has helped raise funds to aid multi-faceted marine conservation efforts for the last decade. Amongst others, initiatives include coral reef restoration in Koh Samui to marine turtle conservation at Phang Nga, near Phuket, via the turtle sanctuary in Thai Muang, where hundreds of endangered leatherback turtles have been raised and released into the Andaman Sea.
‘Train & Sustain’ Retreats
Aiming to inspire and educate a generation of eco-conscious travellers, AHG are also holding ‘Train & Sustain’ bootcamps at akyra Beach Club Phuket and Aleenta Phuket, their contemporary beachfront resorts overlooking the Andaman Sea. The three-day health and sustainability boot camp combines group activities to support the local environment such as cleaning local beaches of rubbish and educating children on the consequences of using plastic, with yoga, fitness classes and spa treatments – reinforcing the hotel group’s key commitments to responsible tourism and wellbeing.
Farm to Fork concepts
With its own on-site farm, the beachside Aleenta Hua Hin has played a part in AHG’s sustainability initiatives from the beginning. Embracing the SLOW (Sustainable, Local, Organic, Wellness) movement long before it was deemed ‘trendy’, the hotel uses its local organic produce to offer a farm-to-fork (and facial) concept in the restaurants and spa. Adopting a ‘locavore’ approach to food and beverage, everything not from the farm is sourced from within 30km of the resort. What’s more, the resort also allows the local community to take home fresh fruit, homemade bread and vegetables to enjoy, and invites guests to offset their carbon footprint by planting mangrove trees at the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, in an effort to reduce global warning.
Animal and Community Conservation
In northern Thailand, the boutique akyra Manor Chiang Mai – which recently celebrated its fourth anniversary – is dedicated to supporting the local community in Thailand’s northern capital. Over the past few years, the hotel has been working closely with nearby schools, helping paint the interiors and also provide much-needed utensils. The hotel team also regularly join fundraising efforts to create a better learning environment for the pupils and even helps plant vegetables in the school’s organic garden. This ongoing support, with an emphasis on giving back, is a pillar of the hotel’s parent company, AKARYN Hotel Group, and therefore plays a key role in akyra Manor Chiang Mai’s corporate culture.
For more information on AKARYN Hotel Group, please visit www.akaryngroup.com, follow @AKARYN_Group on Twitter, @akarynhotelgroup on Instagram, @akaryn.group on Facebook and visit their youtube channel here.