AKARYN Hotel Group, Thailand’s award-winning luxury boutique hotels and resort chain, is on a mission to become a single-use plastic free hotel company by June 2019.
An environmental and social conscience is deeply rooted within AKARYN Hotel Group’s philosophy, with eco-led policies having always played a key role in the company’s operations. Anchalika Kijkanakorn, the group’s founder and Managing Director, now wants to extend this philosophy even further to encompass the group’s entire portfolio of hotels and resorts.
“Our eco-friendly approach began by sourcing glass bottles and containers, as part of a commitment to use no single-use plastic in our restaurants or bars. Our hotels are now extending the initiative by presenting guests with stylish stainless-steel water bottles upon arrival, which they can refill and use at any time during their stay,” Ms Kijkanakorn explained.
AKARYN Hotel Group also uses locally manufactured celadon pottery containers for its bathroom amenities and essential oils, biodegradable bin bags in all rooms, and reusable shopping bags are available for guests who want to indulge in a spot of retail therapy.
With over eight million tonnes of plastic thrown away each year and the confirmed existence of a “Seventh Continent of Waste” spread over 3.4 million square kilometres in the Pacific Ocean, the world is finally waking up to the dangers of plastic.
“Consumers are now actively seeking out responsible businesses that take care of our planet. We are proud to have been such a company since we first began operating some 16 years ago,” Ms. Kijkanakorn added.
Aiming to inspire and educate the new generation of eco-conscious travellers, AKARYN Hotel Group recently hosted its inaugural ‘Train & Sustain’ boot camp at akyra Beach Club Phuket. This three-day health and sustainability camp combined fitness and mindfulness sessions with responsible group activities, such as cleaning local beaches and educating local children about the consequences of using plastic. A second boot camp is now being planned.
Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa has championed the group’s ‘locavore’ concept by using fresh, quality ingredients grown at its own organic farm, and sourcing ingredients from within 30km of the resort to reduce its carbon footprint. The team also replants and cares for indigenous plants and promotes local arts and crafts that use natural materials.
In the kitchen of akyra Manor Chiang Mai, chefs have designed a menu that promotes the concept of eating local. Guests can enjoy artisanal cheese from Doi Faan, fresh fruits and vegetables from Kirk Garden and Siam Daiyashin, cold cuts from Joe Sloane’s and an array of homegrown produce from the Royal Projects.
akyra Manor Chiang Mai has also launched a number of community outreach projects at Sangwan Wittaya School, which was established in 1973 by Her Royal Highness Princess Srinagrarindra. These include educating the students on how to reduce plastic in their daily lives, and implementing a waste sorting system at the school. Likewise, the team at Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa
works with Baan Nong Ka School to teach students about natural fertilisers and sustainable agricultural methods. Over at akyra Thonglor Bangkok, the urban-chic hotel offers a wealth of support to Baankunsamut School, from planting organic vegetables to teaching English and even upgrading school facilities.
AKARYN Hotel Group’s properties across Thailand are all deeply involved in providing positive contributions to their local communities. The team at Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa supports nurturing endangered turtles and releases them to the wild, involving local schools in the process. Similarly, the Aleenta Hua Hin team runs an organic farm whereby locals can pick and eat for free. All they have to do is spend some time replanting.
The pioneering boutique hospitality group also believes in a single-use plastic-free future. As a long-term partner of the Pure Blue Foundation, which supports marine conservation projects (such as turtle nurturing), they have made a companywide commitment to eliminate single-use plastics by June 2019. In 2018, akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok became the first new hotel in Asia to launch without any single-use plastics, akyra Manor Chiang Mai was the second to follow, and the Aleenta hotels are moving rapidly towards the same goal.