From your next hotel stay to the food on your plate, here’s how sustainability in the hospitality industry is the top priority

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One of the main attractions of The Postcard Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is not only that it sprawls across the land of the Asiatic lion, but also spans over 16 acres of kesar mango orchards. (Image; The Dewa Postcard, Thimphu)

As sustainable practices gain traction, hotels across the country are optimistic about everything that defines your experience, from the moment you check in to the food ingredients that are parked on your plate, literally. It makes sense to check out what some of the sustainable strategies of green hotels are.

How do you know if a hotel is sustainable? Do hotel guests care about sustainability? Let’s find out!

From sustainable tea blending practices to organic gardens and sourcing from owned dairy farms, we examine how hotels across India strive to serve their guests with the utmost commitment to sustainable practices.

Sustainable development as a way of life for hotel industry players

Prasad Metrani, Culinary Director, Raffles Udaipur, believes the COVID-19 outbreak has served as a catalyst that has prompted people, brands and hospitality stakeholders to rethink the fragility of its existence and to further reassess certain lifestyle choices. in order to opt for sustainability as a way of life.

Notably, in addition to using organic products, Raffles Udaipur has adapted some unique initiatives to create healthy and sustainable eating experiences. The hotel has introduced cage-free eggs, adapted and promoted responsible fishing and reduced food waste by adapting Winnow solutions.

Sustainable development in hotel properties: water conservation, a key priority

Not all hotels waited for the pandemic to make significant progress in integrating sustainable initiatives. For example, The Fern Hotels & Resorts in India won the prestigious HICAP 2021 Sustainable Hotels Award in the Positive Community Impact category, for some of its notable efforts regarding water conservation and minimizing water-related risks. for local communities.

Prior to the pandemic, The Fern Hotels & Resorts had partnered and partnered with National Geographic Traveler India and Drop Dead Foundation to visit local communities and fix device leaks to highlight the importance of conserving the world. ‘water. Between July 2019 and March 2020, when the campaign had to be halted due to the COVID-19 situation, they saved more than 5.5 million liters of water in 9 communities.

Weaving local experiences to maximize sustainable practices

Manvendra Singh Shekhawat, Managing Director, MRS Group of Hotels, compares the process of sustainability to a match with the personalization of eco-friendly experiences. It also highlights all MRS hotels in Suryagarh Jaisalmer, Narendra Bhawan & Laxmi Niwas Palace in Bikaner and Mary Budden Estate in Binsar.

According to him, the quest for slow travel that fosters unique, authentic and transformative travel experiences is on the rise. To transform the MRS hotel group into sustainable habitats, the strategy has been to consciously integrate local experiences into the overall functioning and operations of the hotel.

Make every meal greener

Prasad Metrani, Culinary Director, Raffles Udaipur, shares with FinancialExpress.com key information on the sustainable and environmentally friendly initiatives undertaken by the hotel, as well as the immersive experiences guests can expect and details about the proposed kitchens.

Sustainable teas that are the most popular on their breakfast menu and made using the delicate art of creating unique blends from the organically grown tea leaves grown in the northern Himalayas to reduce fat, sugar and artificial food additives and the introduction of the use of biodegradable plastic in cooking, Raffles Udaipur will soon be presenting an exclusive farm-to-table dining experience, Harvest by the end of this year.

“The restaurant is meticulously conceptualized to offer epicurean delights prepared with freshly picked ingredients. The Harvest menu will offer a progressive approach to Indian cuisine, with a reinterpretation of traditional recipes. The island’s dedicated organic farm, orchards and greenhouse ensure that customers source their own favorite ingredients for an interactive dining experience, ”Prasad Metrani told FinancialExpress.com.

He adds: “At Raffles Udaipur, every culinary concept centers on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, modern palates and the four seasons of the year. We believe that a meal should be carefully prepared and served with care. We prepare authentic recipes infused with aromatic spices, mainly using organic products picked from the island’s farm. On the farm, we grow a variety of organic fruits, vegetables and spices such as zucchini, broccoli, custard, rosemary, oregano, cilantro and more.

What makes a hotel green? Food supply chains, organic gardens and more

In MRS hotels, hospitality players have worked on the upstream integration of food supply chains by investing directly in their own agricultural land, which provides them with the main grains, legumes and even milk from the dairy farms that they use. they manage. The hotel group has taken the sustainability initiative to the next level by investing more than 500 acres of their farmland to supply their hotels with grains and pulses.

In addition, 100% of these products come from rain-fed and riverine agriculture without pesticides, insecticides or inorganic fertilizers. In addition, the decomposition pits are made, as is the preparation of its own natural fertilizers and pesticides and the purchase of heirloom seeds from the local community.

The MRS hotel group has also successfully launched into the dairy sector with more than 60 Tharparkar cows (native species of Jaisalmer, known for A2 milk).

“We have created organic gardens in the hotels for fresh seasonal vegetables and herbs. Between our farms and our hotels, we have planted over 250,000 native trees, of which over 20,000 trees, such as Ker, Khejri, Jaal, The Ber tree, Gonda, Kumhat, are believed to contribute ingredients for hyper local food preparations and over 20,000 fruits and medicinal plants, including Anwla, Neem, Sejna, Anaar for other wellness foods. For micro-ingredients and spices, we collaborate with many organic farms in the region. For most of our meals, we grind the masala at our hotels, ”Manvendra Singh Shekhawat told FinancialExpress.com.

From offering local jobs to offering culinary experiences such as the Himalayan lunch at Mary Budden Estate, the signature Thali dinner at Suryagarh Jaisalmer and even the sleepless nights of the
Rajputs at Narendra Bhawan Bikaner, all experiences are organized incorporating local ingredients and flavors.

“In addition, our foundation, ‘I Love Jaisalmer’, strives to bring indigenous people together to solve systemic problems in their communities by pooling their intentions and resources. Thanks to this association, we have executed more than 31 projects, including the launch of greater cleanliness &; conservation campaign and
India’s first citizen airline partnership, ”Manvendra Singh Shekhawat told FinancialExpress.com

Enduring experiences in jungle resorts

Fans of jungle travel and safari can rejoice that Postcard Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat, was recently voted “Asia’s Leading Wildlife Resort” and “India’s Leading Wildlife Resort”.

One of the main attractions of The Postcard Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is not only that it sprawls across the land of the Asiatic lion, but also spans over 16 acres of kesar mango orchards. Not only is its proximity to a lion sanctuary commendable, but this wildlife resort offers travelers and safari enthusiasts a rarer travel experience in nature.

Foster sustainability with food choices

Chandan Kumar, founder of RecipesAdda, acknowledges how festivities and food choices come together when he says, “For a nation as hungry as India, festivals are an excuse to indulge in different kinds of food. By following restaurants and eateries that are stepping up their services during the holiday season, RecipesAdda also has its own plans. The platform offers home cooked food and there is a delicious variety of food from different states in India. “

During the festivities, the RecipesAdda app rolled out personalized cooking offers. For example, the Bengalis could choose from their favorite and beloved Aloo Poshto, Aamer Mishti, Cholar Dal or choose the signature Fish Curry. Meanwhile, Gujaratis could opt for a lavish Navratri broadcast that includes Makai Masala, Raj Kachori, Sabudana Khichdi and more. For those in the North, the dining options included other mouthwatering delicacies.

The platform also has a separate section dedicated to fresh and homemade sweets and desserts, which are sure to find new additions in the coming weeks.

Shrey Aggarwal, the founder of The Belgian Waffle Co, informs that theirs is essentially a QSR model where all products are prepared fresh at their outlets in front of customers using high quality custom ingredients that are either purchased locally, or distributed centrally by product and shelf. life.

“Customers can enjoy their favorite hot and fresh products from the waffle iron. In addition, safety and hygiene measures are applied in all points of sale. All staff members wear gloves, hair nets and they regularly disinfect all surfaces, cutlery used to make the products. For delivery orders, each order is sent in inner and outer packaging to ensure that the main product is not directly in contact with anyone, ”Shrey Aggarwal told FinancialExpress.com.

Sustainability is becoming increasingly essential for hospitality stakeholders, even as they prepare for exciting launches at the end of the year. For example, The Postcard Cuelim in South Goa is a restored estate that is approximately 350 years old and overlooks approximately 3,500 acres of green paddy fields that blend seamlessly into Goa’s cultural and coastal landscape. The next launch will be The Postcard Hideaway, Netravali, Goa and The Postcard on the Arabian Sea, Karnataka among their planned openings. Hotels that have yet to be launched are ready to offer restorative isolation amidst a natural environment.

These hotel launches strive to offer a new way of spending vacations that best combines everything that is environmentally friendly, sustainable and “green”.

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