This month’s issue is focused on Earth Day and “going green!” I grew up in a green house (literally, inside and out!), and my dad was ahead of his time when he instilled in me at a young age the importance of recycling and respecting nature. Although there is still a long way to go in making sustainability a priority for all individuals and businesses across the globe, I am thrilled our planet is starting to get the love and attention it deserves, and the properties below are truly committed to protecting our Earth.
If you think being eco-friendly means sacrificing comfort or style, think again! Sustainability is the latest and greatest in luxury travel and incentives. From using local food and drink to preserving the land around the resort to committing to renewable resources, there are endless ways to go green while still providing a high-end experience.
In Case You Missed It: In the Buyer’s Eye – Luck of the Irish
It may not always be easy being green, but with these properties, it most certainly is! Featuring a natural paradise, a resort portfolio committed to sustainable hospitality, and one of the natural wonders of the world, these enticing options celebrate our planet and offer extraordinary experiences for incentives of all sizes.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection
Collisions often have a negative connotation, the collision of nature and culture at the new Etéreo proves this isn’t always the case. This resort, whose name is Spanish for “ethereal,” embraces the Riviera Maya in unexpected ways.
A mere 40 minutes from Cancun International Airport, Etéreo is the first resort to open in a new two-square-mile complex called Kanai. Three other resorts will complete the development by 2025, but Etéreo, which opened in December 2021, is the flagship. With a mix of studios, suites, and penthouses, this 75-room resort was built on a protected mangrove forest. Only 9% of the 1,235-acre forest was cut down during construction, and they have already begun reforesting those areas, with a team of in-house botanists dedicated to the conservation of the land and local biodiversity. Every effort was made to minimize disturbing the stunning natural habitat. For example, raised boardwalks serve as pathways, and in some areas, buildings are on stilts to protect the fragile environment below.
This thoughtful oceanfront paradise offers an expansive private, pristine white sand beach and unforgettable experiences that encapsulate the great outdoors and explore everything the Riviera Maya has to offer through all five senses. The connection to nature is impossible to miss at Etéreo.
Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts are a go-to for luxury incentive experiences for our clients. As they expand globally, they do so with consideration for Environmental, Social, and Governance priorities. They are committed to sustainable hospitality, including reducing carbon emissions, conserving water, eliminating waste, and sourcing responsibly.
A prime example of their efforts is the stunning and ever-so-popular Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo. 70% of the resort’s land will remain untouched, protecting wildlife and aiding in the repopulation of endangered animal and tree species. All architecture on site was either built with or will be updated with erosion control measures, and educational programs in sustainable practices are available for both employees and the local community. Looking to the future, a formal process will be implemented to identify stakeholders, impact, and materiality to generate a triple bottom line perspective focused on sustainability and biodiversity.
Perched on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this coastal resort with 175 rooms and suites may be known for its eco-adventures on both land and sea and relaxing spa and wellness offerings, but it is so much more than that. At Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, “pura vida” is more than just a saying—it’s a way of life.
Hayman Island, Australia
InterContinental Hayman Island Resort
Discover. Explore. Learn. Protect. This is a mission of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. I think we can all agree that these wonders deserve extra love and attention for Earth Day (and every day). Of the seven, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is arguably the grandest. It is the largest coral reef system in the world, spanning over 1,600 miles along the northeastern coast of Australia and featuring 1,500 species of fish, about 2,900 coral reefs, and 600 islands.
Positioned in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and featuring 168 rooms and suites, the InterContinental Hayman Island Resort will immerse guests in the unrivaled beauty of the Whitsundays, where sustainability is key. All water on the island is produced by recycling salt water into fresh drinking water, and a glass-to-sand crusher recycles glass bottles for use in the resort’s pathways. As part of the resort’s environmental commitment and to help protect the reef ecosystem, guests are provided with reef-friendly sunscreen and reusable water bottles.
After making it all the way Down Under, keep the trip of a lifetime going by adding a second destination. Sydney is always popular, or pop over to New Zealand for picturesque and diverse landscapes that give a taste of everything our beautiful Earth has to offer.
Mary Enke, CIS
Sr. Destination & Experience Design Lead
Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc.