Ecuador's Casa Ceibo Boutique Hotel & Spa became the first of its kind when it won South America's first Green Star Diamond Award in October. Following the announcement by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS) in July, the property received the award on October 27 by Karen Dixon, international general manager of AAHS. The property's co-owners, Charles Van Diver of Destin, Florida, and Daniel Jacome, were in attendence as well as more than 150 guests from the travel/tourism industry, local officials and key players in the hotel's design, building and overall success.
"Casa Ceibo has received The Academy's attention for its complete dedication to protecting the environment, plus its commitment to excellence," Dixon says. "For this reason, it's the first time that a South American luxury hotel has received this special type of award -- the Green Star Diamond Award. Aside from being a five-star property, the hotel helps its community create recycling programs, conserve energy and work with the goal of implementing green practices throughout the property."
Two days later, the hotel's staff members were recognized in a celebration that included more than 100 people, including local guests, regional officials, Bahia's mayor and all the hotel's employees.
Van Diver said, "When I came to Ecuador, I fell in love with this country and its people. That passion has become Casa Ceibo, which is dedicated to excellence in everything we do. We deliver a true luxury experience, but we're committed to social and environmental responsibility. It's not just our fine boutique hotel and spa that is the destination, but the people, their culture and a very unique community -- not to mention a breathtaking place -- within our world."