As Spain’s leading hotel group, Meliá Hotels International, continues to expand its presence throughout Asia the company is making sure to bring the passion and flair Spain is known for – especially when it comes to protecting the environment.
Earlier this year the group announced the achievement of the highest overall rating in the global hotel industry in the 2023 S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), an assessment of the performance in sustainability of over 7,800 companies around the world.
In Southeast Asia the penchant for environmental initiatives runs deep with a host of initiatives, partnerships, and hands-on programs at properties from Vietnam to Indonesia.
Below are a few highlights that showcase how the brand is ensuring future travelers can enjoy the beauty of these destinations for generations to come.
While digitization is becoming more commonplace in the hospitality industry, Gran Meliá Jakarta is taking all things electronic one step further. In addition to introducing a Meliá app to cut down on paper collateral and streamline processes, and offering a QR code for menus, the luxury hotel, in the heart of the busy metropolis, has introduced electric car charging stations and switched all lighting to LED. INNSiDE Yogyakarta is also embracing the increase in digital demand by offering key information and menus via smartphone. Meliá Bali, the group’s first hotel in Asia, which opened in the ‘80s, makes use of the abundant natural surroundings with an organic vegetable garden, honey-producing beehives, and microgreens corner. The oceanfront resort has partnered with the Nusa Dua Reef Foundation for a coral restoration project, which guests can get involved in, ecollabo8 for repurposing plastic into usable items – including a table in their kids club, ChopValue Indonesia for repurposing chopsticks and satay sticks into coasters, and Soap for Hope, which offers a sanitary method of repurposing used soap. The property is now plastic-free with everything from bin liners to amenity wrappers being swapped out for biodegradable alternatives. Even the takeaway coffee cups are now compostable. Sol by Meliá Benoa Bali is mitigating food waste through Scholars of Sustenance, a program that helps feed the island’s most in need communities, and helping educate guests through their Cleaning Blitzes.
Earth Day Activities: For Earth Day Sol by Meliá Benoa Bali will host a beach Cleaning Blitz with guests having the opportunity to join. On Saturday there will be a host of activities around Earth Day. Craft activities for kids include bag painting with an Earth Day theme and adults can make torches using waste cooking oil.
Meliá’s most expansive presence in Asia is within Vietnam with a myriad of hotels spread from north to south. Several properties have launched their own organic gardens, including Willow’s Garden in Meliá Ho Tram and the Balansa Organic Garden at Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat. Many properties have partnered with Diversey, a global cleaning and hygiene products manufacturer, on programs such as PlasticShreds, which converts single-use plastic into plastic chips that are then combined with other materials to be upcycled into a variety of uses, from new roads to badminton courts; along with Linens For Life and Soap for Hope. Both initiatives involve transforming materials, such as leftover soap and old linen, into new (sterilized) soap bars and products for people in need, including all-purpose bags, sleeping bags, soft toys for children, and school uniforms. Plastic is being eliminated, whether it be bottles or amenity wrappings, and Sol by Meliá Phu Quoc has installed a 20-liter water tank in each room, along with two reusable glass bottles, so guests can keep topping up their own water supply without going through multiple bottles.
Earth Day Activities: At Meliá Ho Tram children and adults alike can take part in complimentary eco-themed activities including Earth Rock Painting at 11am and Recycled Paper Crafts at 3pm at the resort’s Elyxr Cafe. At Meliá Ba Vi guests can take part in tree planting activities on April 22nd.
With three properties in the country and one more opening this year Meliá is cementing its presence in the popular tourist destination while trying to keep a light footprint. All properties have gone paperless with necessary information and menus available via QR code. For hotel supplies that are printed novel approaches are used, such as recycled banana leaves in Meliá Phuket Mai Khao and wooden folders with fabric from a local village in Meliá Chiang Mai. The pineapples in Phuket are used for more than just delicious desserts. The cleaning team uses a natural detergent made from pineapple peel. While the pineapple tops, which will eventually grow into a new pineapple, are used as table decorations throughout the property. Both Meliá Chiang Mai and Meliá Koh Samui have organic vegetable gardens, with Meliá Chiang Mai implementing a 360-degree approach with its farm on the outskirts of town and Meliá Phuket Mai Khao recently expanding its organic vegetable patch. Melia Chiang Mai also works with suppliers to ensure other vegetable deliveries come by basket and food waste that doesn’t got back to their organic farm as compost goes to a local pig farm. Meliá Phuket Mai Khao and Meliá Koh Samui have implemented wellness retreat programs, supporting mind, body and spirit, and also encouraging guests to interact with nature more. A prominent tree at Meliá Phuket Mai Khao features a “hug me” sign with a QR code giving hugging instructions to guests.
In Myanmar, Meliá Yangon has gone solar with the addition of roof solar panels to heat their hot water tanks. The city hotel isn’t letting the central location damper its farming ambitions and the hotel has its own organic vegetable garden located on the third floor. The Yangon team are actively involved in community programs such as Linen for Life, where they made 4,000 masks by upcycling old bed sheets and unusable uniforms into fabric, and through visiting local elderly homes and youth centres to provide support.
Meliá’s newest hotel in the region, INNSiDE by Meliá Kuala Lumpur Cheras, opened on March 25 with a host of eco-measures already in place, including wheat straw combs and toothbrushes, yoga mats made from cork, and solar-powered LED lighting.
Earth Day Activities: On April 22nd INNSiDE by Meliá Kuala Lumpur Cheras will begin planting a poolside vegetable garden with lemongrass, pandan leaves, chili, mint and tomatoes that will be watered by recycled rain water and will eventually supply the kitchen.