Columbia Beach Resort is the ultra-luxury, all-suite resort that makes its home amongst the stunning white cliffs and the crystalline waters of Cyprus’s Pissouri Bay. Known for its distinctly majestic 5-star experience, guests at Columbia Beach Resort can also relax in the knowledge that this hotel is committed to bettering its environmental and social footprint.
With measures in place to improve the hotel’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) such as; recycling waste water, solar panels, beach cleans, and initiatives such as the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Network, Columbia Beach Resort is raising the bar for hospitality with a conscience in the region.
FOUR speaks with Director Stelios Kizis to find out more…
Have you seen a difference in what guests are looking for from their travel/hospitality experience over the years?
There has been an unmistakable changing tide towards a more authentic form of travelling. Gone are the days of ‘sand and sea’ holidays, of simply physically transporting yourself to a locale to change scenery in a bid to rest and recharge. Now, guests are seeking to connect with a destination emotionally and mentally, to immerse themselves in its culture, understand the nuances of its history, and embrace its modern offerings, be it language, food, or music along with a sense of visiting a place caring for the environment.
More and more, we find guests are drawn to Columbia Beach Resort in large part due to our understated brand of luxury that is influenced by our local surroundings in terms of its architecture and décor, as well as our unique location, a short distance from some of the most prized archaeological sites on the island.
Indeed, we are proud of our heritage, and passionate about sharing it with our guests, be it in our resplendent breakfast spread featuring local delicacies and the complimentary in-suite honey and wine sourced from local artisans.
What is your organisation’s basic philosophy regarding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
In essence, Columbia Beach Resort’s basic philosophy regarding CSR is that a complete reframing and understanding of this concept is required. Considering the dilemmas and dangers facing the world at present – the very real threats to our known way of life and the future we envision – steps taken under this umbrella have become far more vital than ostensibly ticking certain boxes to satisfy societal demands. This is no longer about ‘corporate’ responsibility; this is about the duty of basic human compassion, and the empowering of individuals to recognise their worth in being able to enact change, step by step, person by person.
How important is it for the organisation to be seen implementing CSR?
Well, we certainly don’t spearhead our CSR practices and policies simply to be ‘seen’ doing so. We sincerely believe in the value of the steps we are taking to minimise the impact of our operations, safeguard our environment, educate and empower our employees and guests, and invigorate our local community. This is our legacy. The instinct to operate in this manner is now woven into our DNA.
How did the pandemic affect your organisation’s CSR activities over the last 30 months?
Columbia Beach Resort has long been pioneering and practising environmentally and socially sustainable initiatives. Perhaps the main effect of the pandemic has been how sharply into focus these concerns have been brought to a global audience. We find that, increasingly, we are receiving feedback from our guests about how close to their heart these issues lie and how they value our proactive approach. They feel empowered by association.
Can you give examples of the tangible benefits that you have seen from the organisation’s CSR activities, both to the individuals it has helped and to the organisation itself?
I’m extremely pleased to report that we do indeed see daily tangible benefits from our CSR activities, as well as the overarching trajectory of change wrought from years of commitment and hard work to this end. From the recycling of our waste water (which is supplied to local farmers) and the installation and use of solar panels, to an investment in beach clean-ups and local conservation, as well as our initiation into the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Network (the first resort worldwide to be included) and our brand-new partnership with Minoa (which will see all water offered at the resort encased in fully recyclable packaging) Columbia Beach Resort truly has become a tapestry of environmental and social ambition and action. It is the apotheosis of our unique brand of hospitality with heart.
What do you think will leave the biggest impression on guests who visit Columbia Beach Resort?
We feel blessed to be situated in such a paradisiacal locale. Pissouri truly is a gem within the wider island, and with such stunning vistas, coupled with our unique design, the natural beauty of our setting is a feast for the eyes and source of kaleidoscopic memories.
However, the feedback we endlessly receive is that it is the kindness and attentiveness of our staff members that succeeds in burrowing into the depths of our guests’ hearts, leaving the most profound impression. The sincerity of connections forged is one of the main reasons we continue to welcome back repeat guests year after year, as though welcoming family home.
Any other upcoming developments that visitors can look forward to?
Columbia Beach Resort belongs to the vibrant Columbia Group, which is dynamically spearheading several developments at present within the island’s hospitality industry, including the official opening of the landmark Columbia Hotel Academy offering Vocational Education and Training by École hôtelière de Lausanne, as well as the soon-to-be-launched Columbia Pier in Limassol, and Henry’s in Nicosia, both elevated dining concepts. We are proud of this verve and draw inspiration from the drive to ever advance and innovate.
A truly respectable and sustainable travel destination, Columbia Beach Resort is ideal for anyone looking for a guilt-free, problem-free luxury getaway. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway for two or a fun-filled family holiday, you can rest assured that you will be doing it somewhere that is both stylish and ethical at Columbia Beach Resort.