Sate your wanderlust with world-class luxury experiences designed to ease your conscience

SINGAPORE (Feb 13): Mass-market tourism has often been blamed as the root cause of many social and environmental disasters. While there may be some truth to these claims, you do not need to ditch your travel bucket list to be a responsible global citizen. Options recommends a few ways to make your next getaway more meaningful without having to compromise on comfort.

Eat sustainably
Consuming your greens straight from the garden can minimise the need for hospitality and F&B businesses to call on suppliers to transport herbs and vegetables across town. Understanding this, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit in Thailand serves up greens right from the office terrace garden of Voila restaurant’s executive chef. Similarly, North Hill City Resort in Chiang Mai conducts cooking classes for its guests using ingredients grown on its private organic farm.

Do good by association
Conservationists can plan their next beach holiday at Indonesia’s Soori Bali, an Earth- Check-certified resort designed by Singaporean architect Soo K Chan. Environmental and cultural sustainability is a theme throughout its premises with the use of natural shade, energy consumption-reducing crossventilation and untouched contours of land.

For those looking to venture beyond the region onto roads less travelled, Jacada Travel specialises in tailoring private guided tours with a focus on “responsible travel”. Aside from recruiting native tour guides and encouraging travellers to shop local, the luxury tour operator also partners with hotels, lodges and camps that use sustainable fuel sources and support community projects. A portion of Jacada’s profits from each trip will benefit a number of charities supported by the agency.

Watch your water
While water conservation is an often-repeated mantra in Singapore, little thought goes into the way it is consumed. Based in the Hue province of Vietnam, 39 of La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa’s 122 rooms draw water heated by the sun via solar panels installed on the hotel roofs, saving several thousand dollars’ worth of electricity annually. Closer to home is The Sanchaya in Bintan, Indonesia. The seafront estate purifies its own still and sparkling drinking water for guests in recyclable bottles, saving the use of up to 80,000 plastic bottles a year.

Save lives at sea
In a joint effort to limit potential damage to reefs, Anantara Hotels Resorts and Spas’ Maldives team has partnered with marine biologists from Coral Reef CPR to launch a five-year Holistic Approach to Reef Protection programme. This is funded by the hospitality chain’s “Dollars for Deeds” initiative, whereby Anantara guests are invited to donate one dollar for each night of their stay, which is then matched dollar for dollar by Minor Hotels, the group that operates Anantara.

This article first appeared in Issue 766 (Feb 13) of The Edge Singapore.