Beyond Green, launched this spring under Preferred Hotel Group, offers brand new eco-friendly luxury hospitality experiences
The Covid pandemic has opened many eyes to how travel and tourism can help or hurt local communities. As travel restarts, choosing a vacation at a Beyond Green luxury property will not only help the environment but provide social and economic benefits to the community you visit. Why not make your vacation a force for good?
Focusing on sustainability, Beyond Green (StayBeyondGreen.com) officially launched this spring under Preferred Hotel Group, featuring a global portfolio of hotels, resorts and lodges that exemplify sustainability in action. Travel Life spoke with Preferred Hotel Group CEO Lindsey Ueberroth and Beyond Green Executive Director Costas Christ on this new brand and its holistic view of nature, community and culture.
WHAT’S YOUR VIEW OF 2021 AND 2022 FOR HOTELS?
Lindsey: I have an optimistic outlook for the second half of 2021 and beyond. I have often compared the year ahead to falling in love–it starts off slowly and then it happens all at once. With the vaccine rollout, the “vaccine vacation” is going to become a powerful movement, with travel being at the top of everyone’s list of things they want to do once they can feel safe.
WHY WAS IT TIME TO CREATE BEYOND GREEN?
Costas: Many people think sustainable tourism is a trend, when in reality it represents an evolution of the way we travel. It’s possible to have a great holiday and have a positive impact on the people and places we visit. That is at the heart of Beyond Green, which is born out of this evolution and the work I have been involved with for more than 30 years, showing that travel can be a force for good. With the pandemic, this took on increased urgency to go big and be bold, coupled with the growing awareness that there can never truly be personal health and wellbeing if we do not have planetary health and wellbeing.
WHAT WILL TRAVELLERS BE CRAVING WHEN THEY START EXPLORING AGAIN?
Lindsey: A sense of connectedness and renewal.
After many months of being home and not being able to connect with friends and family, people had ample time to reflect on what matters. The freedom to travel is at the top of everyone’s list and [with it] a new sense of responsibility for taking care of ourselves, our communities and our planet. Travellers are going to seek properties embracing sustainability. I also believe travellers will no longer be putting off that bucket list trip.
WHAT KEY FACTORS MADE THESE HOTELS AND RESORTS RIGHT FOR THIS NEW PORTFOLIO?
Costas: With 30 hotels, resorts and lodges, Beyond Green represents properties offering authentic hospitality while also protecting biodiversity, celebrating culture and improving local livelihoods. Properties [must adopt] three pillars of sustainable tourism leadership: environmentally friendly practices, protection of cultural heritage and contributing to the social and economic advancement of local communities.
SOME OF LINDSEY AND COSTAS’ TOP PICKS FROM BEYOND GREEN
Lindsey: Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia is a magical destination where most still travel by horseback. The Brando in Tahiti–I would love to travel there for family time and fun in the sun. The Xigera in Botswana–I have had a long love affair with southern Africa. I am very excited to experience this beautiful property, sip a cocktail from the tree house, or float down the delta in a glass bottom canoe.
Costas: Aristi Mountain Resort in Northern Greece is a small family-owned property that is one of Greece’s hidden secrets, tucked into a valley surrounded by snow-capped peaks and ancient hiking trails that date back to the time of the Romans.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS TRAVELLERS OF ALL AGES CAN GIVE SOMETHING BACK WHILE GAINING AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME!
ENROLL IN THE LAGOON SCHOOL AT THE BRANDO
(TETIAROA, FRENCH POLYNESIA)
The resort offers children aged between 6 and 12 the opportunity to attend The Lagoon School hosted by a naturalist guide from the Tetiaroa Society. Activities include coral exploration, plant discovery, and meeting the reef’s inhabitants, which includes different species of fish and sea turtles, dolphins and whales.
RECONNECT WITH NATURE AND PLANT TREES AT WILDERNESS SAFARIS BISATE LODGE
(VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, RWANDA)
Adjacent to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, the eco-lodge combines bucket-list gorilla trekking with a pioneering vision of reforestation and community partnership to help regenerate endangered mountain gorilla habitat.
MEET NOMADIC FAMILIES AND LEARN ABOUT A NEW DOG BREEDING PROGRAM AT THREE CAMEL LODGE
(SOUTH GOBI, MONGOLIA)
Located deep within Mongolia’s vast Gobi Desert, this remote luxury lodge launched a conservation partnership with the not-for-profit Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project, which aims to help preserve this unique, native breed to both protect livestock and support snow leopard conservation by reducing human-wildlife conflict among Mongolian nomads. Guests can learn more about the breeding and training initiative, meet the lodge’s two resident dogs and visit one of the nearby nomadic host families who are fostering the puppies to continue their training to be herders and protectors of local livestock.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT SIMILAR OPPORTUNITIES AROUND THE GLOBE, VISIT: STAYBEYONDGREEN.COM